11/04/2007

Community Interest Companies for NI

A new type of company, a Community Interest Company, has been introduced in Northern Ireland, following the implementation of new legislation here.

The legislation, which came into effect on 6 April, enables the establishment of Community Interest Companies (CICs) which are designed specifically for those wishing to operate for the benefit of the community rather than for the benefit of the owners.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) recently held an information seminar on the implications of legislation for representatives from the local Social Economy sector.

Delegates heard details of the new legislation and the benefits of becoming a CIC from DETI Deputy Secretary Noel Lavery and leading CIC expert, the UK CIC Regulator, John Hanlon.

Mr Lavery said: “This new legislation now enables Community Interest Companies to be established in Northern Ireland. It was therefore important that we provided the delegates with information on how to become a CIC and ensure that the local social economy sector was aware of this new legal form of company which offers a flexible business model for social enterprise.”

Keynote speaker, John Hanlon, was pleased that Northern Ireland is now included in the CIC legislation. Mr Hanlon said: “I would encourage all Social Economy Enterprises in Northern Ireland to take steps to become a CIC. Around 850 companies in Great Britain have already availed of the benefits including independently verified assurance and assets being locked into the local community to prevent asset-stripping for personal profit and safeguarding the future of the business. There is clearly a high level of interest in CICs in Northern Ireland and I am glad that this legislation has now taken effect.”

Anna McAleavy, Chairperson of the newly incorporated Social Economy Network, also spoke at the seminar and updated the delegates on the work of the Network.

For more information on Community Interest Companies, visit the CIC regulator website at www.cicregulator.gov.uk.

To learn how to register a CIC in Northern Ireland, visit the Companies Registry website at www.companiesregistryni.gov.uk.

(SP/KMcA)

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