Objects of the Trust
"To stimulate public interest in and appreciation of the history, structure and beauty of the Dudley Number 2 Canal and with the aim of improving the conditions of life for the persons for whom such facilities are primarily intended, to provide or assist in the provision of facilities for recreation or other leisure activities at or near to the Dudley Number 2 Canal including Hawne Basin (hereinafter called "the Canal") including the restoration, improvement, enhancement, development, maintenance, conservation of and making fully navigable the Canal and the promotion of its use by all appropriate forms of waterborne traffic and the promotion of a public footpath and right of way along the length of the Dudley Number 2 Canal."
(Memorandum of Association, Clause 3)
Why the Trust is a Company Limited by Guarantee instead of having a share capital
The original Trust had, as you would expect, Trustees, but what may not have been so obvious is that these people actually carried a tremendous burden of responsibility and personal financial risk.
In the event of some sort of catastrophe, in the final analysis, and if all else has failed (including winding up the Trust), there is still not enough money to pay all the creditors/claimants in full, it is possible that the Trustees could be called upon to make good the shortfall from their own funds. This could mean bankruptcy and total destruction of their lives.
In the past this was not seen as anything more than a vague possibility, but in these days of heavy litigation for relatively minor matters and of the courts awarding settlements that make most people gasp, it was recocognised as totally unfair that the Trustees should be asked to shoulder this potential burden. We have therefore converted the Trust into a Company Limited by Guarantee.
This is a type of company normally used as a vehicle for a charity and is guaranteed by the members of the company to the extent that they will contribute, in our case £1 (one pound), to any deficit in the event that the company is wound up. Every member of the Trust will be a member of the Company.
Instead of Trustees the company has Directors - the Governing Council members - and these are the people who will not only run the Company but also ensure that it complies with the law of the land and its own objectives and rules.
If the Governing Council members fail to carry out their duties diligently they will be subject to the law as embodied in the Companies Acts and may carry personal responsibility.
The new Company has taken over all the assets and liabilities of the original Trust.
The Trust has been given permission to drop the word "Limited" from the name.
The Trust's Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association are available for viewing or download on the Documents page of this site