Support for community groups and organisations

Kirkby Overblow Community Hub – becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) has changed the organisation's future

group of people celebrating holding we did it cards
team working around a table of cogs

With the help of Community First Yorkshire, Kirkby Overblow Community Hub CIO has the right legal structure to help them buy a building that will be an essential hub to support the community.

What was the challenge?

The group had been set up for a number of years as a registered charity, with the purpose to build and maintain a village hall. There is an unused pub in the village and they plan to buy and develop this into a community hub. They contacted us for advice on the best legal structure for doing this. They also needed funding advice as they need to raise enough funds to make the building purchase possible.

How did Community First Yorkshire help?

One of our development officers, Andy, had a chat with the hub on the phone to find out more about the project, and the estimated costs involved, and to provide them with information about possible organisational structures. The group recognised that identifying a suitable legal structure was a priority, and the trustees agreed that they should become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). Andy helped the trustees with their application to the Charity Commission.

Sometimes, submitting an application to become a CIO can be a lengthy process, particularly if there are problems or errors with the application submitted. With the help from CFY in completing the application and the appropriate constitution the group received a positive response within five days of submitting their application.

They now have an appropriate legal structure, which allows them to continue with the plans to purchase the local pub and change it to a community hub. Funding is ongoing and negotiations with the pub owner are likely to take time to resolve.

“It’s incredible. We know that it can take months to become a CIO, and we got approval in a matter of days. It has to be thanks to Andy’s help in making sure we had the right information in place to support our CIO application. If we hadn’t become a CIO, we wouldn’t be able to make a bid to buy the pub, meaning we would have fallen at the first hurdle! The future looks good and we’ll continue to come to Community First Yorkshire for their advice when we need it.”
Robert Henderson, trustee at Kirkby Overblow Community Hub
What does the future look like?

While celebrating on their speedy confirmation of becoming a CIO, the work doesn’t stop there. The group are focussing now on finding funding opportunities, with our help. We’re working with them to identify funders and check applications before they are submitted.

In the future, the group will need our support to set up a trading CIC subsidiary once they have brought the pub.

About the organisation

As the village has no community space the Hub will be able to offer a much needed multifunction venue. The Hub are looking at a possible cafe, exhibition space and meeting facilities.

Do you need help with…
  • Securing income for your organisation or project?
  • Turning your ideas of becoming a new community organisation into a reality?
  • Benefitting from greater security as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)?
  • Thinking about reviewing your organisation and planning ahead?
  • Understanding trustee’s legal roles and responsibilities?
  • Benefitting from a financial health check?

Our advisers can help. Call us today 01904 704177 or

How we can help you

As a registered charity, we understand your needs. Our local advisers work across North Yorkshire and will come to you to ensure you get access to the best quality advice and guidance including funding advice, helping you set up as a community organisation, governance and trustees, finance support, marketing advice, and exploring ways to further develop your organisation.

If you know a community group, charity or social enterprise that needs some support to be even more successful, contact one of our friendly advisors on 01904 704177 or

Community Support North Yorkshire is funded by North Yorkshire County Council and NHS North Yorkshire.