North Berwick Trust is in the process of becoming North Berwick Trust Ltd. The aims are not changing. North Berwick Trust Ltd will continue with the same charitable purpose which North Berwick Trust had, namely ‘to benefit the residents of North Berwick.’
This change to North Berwick Trust Ltd is a technical one. It is being made to ensure that North Berwick Trust is able to pursue its charitable purpose as efficiently and effectively as possible, while embodying best charitable practice.
North Berwick Trust was created in 1974. The legal and regulatory framework was very different then. The Trust also had a different role. It owned agricultural land on the edge of North Berwick, which was leased.
In 2018, the Trust has sold most of the land it owned and invested the proceeds. At present the income generated is being used to offer grants to community groups. In the future, some of the funds may be invested in one or more major projects in the community.
The Trust retains smaller pieces of land. Each piece has a designated use within the overall planning agreement which governs the development of the whole site. This creates a number of obligations which the Trust must discharge.
During the last two years North Berwick Trust has taken legal and financial advice. It also engaged Bruce Tait Associates as consultants. It has concluded that the form of organisation that will best enable it to discharge its duties efficiently and effectively while embodying best charitable practice, is to become a company limited by guarantee which is also a charity.
North Berwick Trust Ltd has therefore been registered with OSCR and Companies House and is in the process of being registered with HM Revenue and Customs. The process of transferring both the assets and responsibilities to North Berwick Trust Ltd has begun. The two bodies will continue to exist for some time. The intention is that North Berwick Trust will be wound up once all assets and obligations have been passed to North Berwick Trust Ltd.
It is important to stress that ALL the assets of North Berwick Trust will continue to be used at ALL times to further the charitable purposes of the Trust, and now of the Company.
In practical terms the residents of North Berwick are unlikely to notice any change. While North Berwick Trust Ltd will have a new Charity Number the website, phone number and address will not change.
The new Charity Number is SC048462. The Company Number is SC599995.