Charity Commission approves legal restructure

We are delighted to announce that on Tuesday 31 August 2021, the Charity Commission for England and Wales approved and registered the Downs Light Railway Trust as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
The new charitable incorporated organisation of the Downs Light Railway Trust becomes its own legal entity under registration number 1195660. The legacy charitable trust under registration number 513882 will remain until the assets have been successfully transferred over to the new organisation. Although there are tasks to setup the new organisation, this approval completes a major milestone of Phase 2 of our Centenary Development Programme.

The legal restructure will enable the Downs Light Railway Trust to:

  • Appoint Trustees from the lower age limit of 16 years.
  • Apply for grants that require the charity to be Incorporated.
  • Enter into contracts in its own name.
  • Hold property in its own name.
  • Employ staff in its own name.
The new organisation takes on a refreshed set of objectives:
To advance public education by the restoration, preservation, maintenance, operation and development of the Downs Light Railway as a heritage asset for the provision of practical education to young people between the ages of 7 to 18, in particular but not exclusively by: (a) educating young people in engineering disciplines, including civil, mechanical, electrical, design, and workshop practice; and (b) promoting science, technology and engineering focused activities and careers.

Editor Notes

  1. The Downs Light Railway Trust was established in February 1983 as a charitable trust by Deed of Trust and registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales under registration number 513882.
  2. The Downs Light Railway Trust was restructured in August 2021 as a charitable incorporated organisation by foundation constitution and registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales under registration number 1195660.
  3. The Downs Light Railway Trust's Centenary Development Programme aims to increase youth engagement in heritage railways, provide greater practical learning opportunities and strengthened community involvement. The programme hopes to realise these aims from 2025 when the Downs Light Railway is 100 years old.
  4. The Downs Light Railway was started by The Downs School (Colwall), now The Downs Malvern, in the early 1920s and was formally established in 1925. At over 96 years old, it stands to be the oldest private miniature railway worldwide.
  5. The Downs Light Railway educates on average 15 children on each session. These children are aged between 7 and 18 years old. Dedicated sessions are provided to local educational establishments. General youth activities are open to all children.

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