In early July, the Charity Commission published the latest of the results of its public benefit assessments on four arts charities that were carried out to ascertain whether the charities concerned are providing sufficient public benefit in the light of the Commission’s published guidance.
The public benefit requirement is not a new requirement for charities. However, the Charities Act 2006 highlights this requirement by including public benefit explicitly in the definition of a charitable purpose. In addition, any presumption that a class of charity was for the public benefit has been removed.
The assessments were carried out in three phases – information gathering (including office-based research, sending the charities a questionnaire for completion and, where appropriate, a visit to the charity’s premises), analysis of evidence and reporting the findings.
The charities selected, which are very different in terms of profile, size and operation were:
- The Royal Opera House Covent Garden (Income £98 million)
- The Young Concert Artists Trust (Income £300,000)
- The Castle Players (Income £60,000)
- Gwent Ballet Theatre (Income £293,000)
The Commission found that all four charities that were assessed are being administered for public benefit. The assessments help to demonstrate that the public benefit principles are flexible enough to apply to four very different arts charities, yet clear enough to distinguish them from organisations which are not charities.Please contact myself or Tim Geddes for further information.
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