Conversion to SCIO

PCDT is an incorporated organisation. As a Development Trust our stated aims and objectives included the provision of social and community facilities, supporting local environment initiatives, supporting local heritage and cultural improvements, youth development and providing support to local people, groups and businesses.

As you will have seen from our various Newsletters, we have been providing community support services and before the current lockdown we worked to renovate and re-fit 7A Main Street . With a working title of “The Gaitherin Place” we aim to provide a base and a community resource for a range of services and activities to support economic and social recovery.

Having taken advice, the Board now consider that it is now appropriate to consider moving towards a Charity Status.   This would mean registering with the Charity Regulator OSCR and passing a resolution, by the company members to change the legal form from a registered company to a Scottish Charity Incorporated Organisation (SCIO)

The Articles of Association would be changed to a SCIO Constitution and rather than have a Board of Directors we would have a Board of Trustees.   Both legal forms follow the model template produced by Development Trust Associated of Scotland (DTAS) and apart from the nomenclature changes are almost identical, both set out the same limits on Directors/ Trustees Powers and offer the same protection for members.

 We would still be:

  • Independent, aiming for self-sufficiency and not for private profit.
  • Engaged in the economic, environmental, and social regeneration of Portpatrick a surrounding area.
  • Community based, owned and managed by the members.
  • Actively involved in partnerships and alliances between the community, voluntary, private and public sectors.

The advantages of a SCIO are:

  • Tax relief – from corporation tax on surpluses and on interest on sums held on deposit.
  •  Rates relief – for premises occupied by the charity.
  • VAT – able to access limited VAT concessions.
  • Able to raise funding from charitable foundations or community benefit fund providers that will only fund charitable bodies.
  • Able to maximise the value of donations/legacies through tax relief/ Gift Aid.

Against this:

  • There are limitations on the direct activities undertaken – charities may only directly undertake activities that are charitable in nature (although they may create wholly-owned trading subsidiaries to undertake non-charitable activity).
  • Limitations on the activities that can be supported.  As a SCIO we would only be able to generate income from trading activities which are carried on in direct furtherance of our primary charitable purposes. For example, this would place limitation on use receiving wind farm money for projects not directly related to economic, environmental, and social regeneration of Portpatrick a surrounding area.
  • There are additional responsibilities and administration, including reporting to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

On balance the whole Board are of the opinion that the benefits of being a SCIO outweigh the disadvantages and are unanimously recommending applying for conversion to a SCIO. It is however important to note that this is a one-way opportunity. A limited company can convert to a SCIO but a SCIO cannot convert back to a company, it would have to be dissolved.  

If you a full member of PCDT then you can vote here

If you wish further information:

When PCDT was first set up the scope of activities was not well defined and so acting on advice of DTAS we postponed the decision following the above chart. The Board now considers that the activities are well defined and so are proposing the above constitution with the following objects:

  1. the advancement of community development (including the advancement of rural regeneration) principally within the Community;
  2. the advancement of citizenship or community development including the advancement of rural regeneration;
  3. the advancement of the arts, heritage, culture or science;
  4. the advancement of environmental protection or improvement of the local terrestrial and marine environments.
  5. the provision of recreational facilities or the organisation of recreational activities with the object of improving the conditions of life for the persons for whom the facilities or activities are primarily intended
  6. the relief of those in need by reason of age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage.

All the above shall be carries out following principles of sustainable development where “sustainable development” means development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

But only to the extent that the above purposes are consistent with furthering the achievement of sustainable development.