Trustee’s recommendation to change BCS to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

2013 saw the long awaited culmination of the Buckingham Canal Society’s aspiration to restore the canal take a major step forward with the award of grants followed by the relining and rewatering of the Bourton Meadow section. The transition of the society from the previous unincorporated charity to the CIO is now seen as a natural step as the focus shifts more toward restoration and the increased levels of activities further restoration projects may bring alongside associated risks and liabilities.

The restoration focus has already seen a greatly increased need for the formalisation of policies, procedures and practices both on and off project sites. As such, an important element of this evolution is to recognise the need for adherence to them throughout the work of the society whilst also aiming to ensure that our volunteers enjoy undertaking the tasks and we all have fun.


A Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) is a relatively new form of legal entity designed for non-profit organisations with operations similar to ourselves. CIOs have been devised, and are being actively promoted, by the Charity Commission. The main benefits of this new type of entity are that it has:

  • legal personality,
  • the ability to conduct business in its own name, and
  • limited liability so that its members and trustees will not have to contribute in the event of financial loss.

Charities can alternatively be formed as companies limited by guarantee which provide similar benefits. However, they then must be registered with, and comply with the regulations of, both Companies House and the Charity Commission. In contrast, the CIO only needs to register with the Charity Commission. This is anticipated to significantly reduce bureaucracy for the charity.

Press Assocation 2 July 2013  DSC_6808  Bourton Meadow in water

It is also necessary to adopt a new constitution in the form directed by the Charity Commission using their model constitution. We have tailored this standard format to include our specific requirements and the Objects of the Society have been transposed from the current constitution.

As such the trustees of the Buckingham Canal Society unanimously recommend the resolution to transfer the Society to a CIO and adopt the revised constitution as per the resolution for the 2014 AGM.


Copies of the draft Buckingham Canal Society constitution are available prior to the AGM by clicking here or  contacting or write to:

R Oldham, BCS, 22a Frogmore Lane, , Long Crendon, HP18 9DZ

 Further details of CIOs and frequently asked questions about them are available on the Charity Commission website