Fred Clark, Associate and member of the firm's Art Law & More team has advised on the establishment of a Community Interest Company (CIC), a not-for-profit company and social enterprise, for the Young London Print Prize, a pioneering visual arts programme for London's schoolchildren. A CIC is a special type of company for community benefit; designed for businesses that are not created solely for private profit. By incorporating as a CIC, the YLPP will be able to attract funding from wider sources, including certain grants that are only available to registered charities or CICs.
The Young London Print Prize is an innovative visual arts programme driven by two fundamental aims which has been running for two years in an unincorporated state. Part of Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, the prize launched in the middle of the pandemic during 2020. It works with young people and schools over a period of six months each year on a four-stage programme to inspire and showcase their creativity, using the medium of printmaking. All the work throughout this process is created, judged and curated by young people themselves. In its second year the prize doubled in size from the first year with a thousand participants and 21 schools involved. The Prize expanded in and around Woolwich and Thamesmead and also began to work in diverse low-income neighbourhoods in East and West London, for example on the Isle of Dogs and close to Grenfell.
"This support from Boodle Hatfield catapults our programme into a whole different league. Setting us up as a CIC means we can access far more funding and immediately increase the number of young artists we involved by 30% this year," said Matt Bell, co-founder of the Young London Print Prize. "We felt treated with the same professionalism and speed as any other client and that speaks volumes for the culture and values of Boodle Hatfield."
Both charities and CICs have clear purposes set out in their constitutions. In the case of the YLPP, its activities will be carried out for the benefit of young people aged 6-18, primarily those from diverse low-income communities in London through the medium of printmaking. The CIC is a subsidiary of the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair and so any surplus will be used to further the educational ambitions of the fair.
The shortlisted prints are shown at Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair which Boodle Hatfield has been proud to sponsor for the three years. Working with the fair, we launched the Boodle Hatfield Printmaking Prize in 2019 which is now approaching its third year.
CICs are a useful vehicle for those seeking to benefit the community around them. Whilst they do not require as much compliance as a charity, because of how they are set up, they do allow the pursuit of social, charitable and community-based objectives. This is built into the constitution of the company. There are lots of great use cases for CICs.
In connection with Boodle Hatfield's client base, landed estates and wealthy families may find a CIC a good place to start when thinking about supporting good causes alongside their other businesses. They can offer more flexibility than a charity while also ensure the social aims of the enterprise are upheld front and centre.
Image: Winners of the Young London Print Prize 2021