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Becoming a Charitable Trust: A Guide for Council-Run Venues

The world of public subsidy has changed massively in the last couple of years with major cuts to both ACE and direct local authority funding. Reductions in subsidy have led to a number of 'spin-offs'; local authority-controlled arts organisations being moved out of the council to become independently operated organisations.

We know that for some arts organisations this transition can be a huge risk, while for others it's a great opportunity. For many, the biggest challenge is how to survive outside the local authority ecosystem without any (or a reduced amount) of their subsidy from the council. Making this transition smoothly is no easy feat. However, if your venue is looking to make this change and become a trust, there's a number of things you can do to make the switch as easy as possible. Things like maintaining business as usual from day one of the transition, positively articulating the change through your marketing, and getting buy-in from the public as well as your stakeholders.

Becoming a standalone organisation provides a whole range of new and exciting opportunities for venues too, like the chance to:

  • become self-sustaining,
  • be a vital part of your community,
  • be relevant,
  • create an identity that's relevant to your mission,
  • and access new revenue streams.

Is your venue looking to become a charitable trust?

Download our whitepaper Stepping Out: How to make the move from local authority to charitable trust for our guide to maximising these opportunities, including practical help for making sure your organisation reaps the rewards of its new status.