Here are some answers to important questions about Development Coll, An Cridhe and Coll Bunkhouse. The answers are mostly taken from the charity’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (‘Mems and Arts’). Shortened excerpts have been used here, for the purposes of answering questions, and therefore some detail has been omitted. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.

What is a development trust?2017-02-04T12:52:22+00:00

Development trusts are community organisations which:

  • are owned and managed by the local community
  • aim to achieve the sustainable regeneration of a community or address a range of economic, social, environmental and cultural issues within a community
  • are independent but seek to work in partnership with other private, public and third sector organisations
  • aim to reduce dependency on grant support by generating income through enterprise and the ownership of assets. All trading surpluses are principally reinvested in the organisation or the community.

See the Development Trust Association for Scotland website for further information.

What is meant by ‘sustainable development’?2014-01-03T15:34:53+00:00

‘Sustainable development’ means development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need.

Can the directors of Development Coll sell the new buildings and do what they want with the cash?2014-01-03T15:26:22+00:00

No – for two reasons.

  1. Funders for the An Cridhe project (ERDF, Big Lottery etc) are very strict about what DC may do with the building.
  2. Clause Four of DC’s Mems and Arts states:

(a) “The income and property of the company shall be applied solely towards promoting the company’s objects (as set out in clause 3); and in particular (but without limiting the generality of that provision) any surplus funds or assets of the company must be applied for the benefit of the Community.

(b) No part of the income or property of the company shall be paid or transferred (directly or indirectly) to the members of the company, whether by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise.

(c) No director of the company shall be appointed as a paid employee of the company; no director shall hold any office under the company for which a salary or fee is payable.

(d) No benefit (whether in money or in kind) shall be given by the company to any director except (i) in repayment of out-of-pocket expenses or (ii) reasonable payment in return for particular services (not being of a management nature) actually rendered to the company.

Development Coll refers to An Cridhe and the An Cridhe field as ‘community assets’ but how can that be the case if Development Coll is a company limited by guarantee?2017-02-04T12:52:22+00:00

Development Coll is indeed a ‘company limited by guarantee with charitable status but it can only operate within its Mems and Arts.  In this case, clause three states:

The Company has been formed to benefit the community of the Isle of Coll which comprises all of the postcode units within the PA78 postcode area (“the Community”) with the following objects:

  1. To manage community land and associated assets for the benefit of the Community and the public in general as an important part of the protection and sustainable development of Scotland’s natural environment;

There are numerous other ‘objects’ in the Mems and Arts, which mean that a community charity like DC may undertake a huge variety of different activities, but they must always be undertaken with the ultimate aim of benefitting the community.

If I become a member of Development Coll, am I personally financially liable for Development Coll’s debts if An Cridhe fails, or if the directors mis-handle the finances?2014-01-03T15:32:46+00:00

No.  Clauses 5 and 6 of the Mems and Arts state:

5. The liability of the members if limited.”

6. Every member of the company undertakes to contribute such amount as may be required (not exceeding £1) to the company’s assets if it should be wound up while he/she is a member or within one year after he/she ceases to be a member…

If Development Coll fails and the company is wound up, what would happen to An Cridhe and Coll Bunkhouse?2014-01-03T15:33:48+00:00

Clause 7 of the Mems and Arts states:

“7 (a)     If on winding-up of the company any property remains after satisfaction of all the company’s debts and liabilities, such property shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the company; instead that property shall (subject to paragraph (c) of this clause 7) be transferred to some other community body or bodies … as may be determined by the members (subject to the identity of the transferee body or bodies being first approved by the Scottish Ministers).

(c)           No property shall be transferred under paragraph (a) or (b) to any body unless it is a Scottish charity.

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