The dry stuff first: A Community Interest Company (CIC) is a special kind of limited company. It is registered at Companies House. Its assets can only be used for the benefit of its local community.
The Kirkby Lonsdale CIC was set up in 2011 to support the Town Council. South Lakeland District Council was considering closing public toilets and their tourist information centre in the town. The weekly market, held on SLDC land each Thursday, was also under threat.
The town council successfully negotiated to lease these services from the district council. This led to the formation of the CIC who were better suited to manage these services on a day to day basis. The CIC can take guidance from the town council but is free to develop its own projects.
The CIC has had a number of project leaders since its formation. The current person is the Tourism and Town Manager, who is a part-time employee. Sarah Ross identifies how best to promote the town to residents and visitors, and works to maintain services and bring new attractions to the town, attractions which are suited to a relatively unspoiled market town.
There is a part-time market manager who also looks after the public toilets. Market traders are encouraged to trade at Kirkby Lonsdale as it is now an official gateway to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which has its boundary right on the edge of town. Coaches visit the town on almost every day of the week.
Responsibilities and scope
The CIC has widened its scope over the years. Its core responsibilities remain the market, visitor information and public toilets. But events put life into a community, so Sarah Ross introduced a Christmas market and fair, held on the first full weekend.each December. It has proved popular for the past two years, and looks set to be a fixture in the town’s attractions.
Other events are in the pipeline. Information about them will appear on this website in due course, so keep visiting us.
Who are we
The CIC’s Board of Directors includes a Town Councillor, the Chamber of Trade Chairman, a retired local government officer, a local businessman and a former schoolteacher. It liaises with the town council, the town’s two prestigious schools, local churches, the civic society and any and all organisations or groups interested in making the town a great place to live or visit.
If you want to know more about the CIC, write to the Chairman at 29 Main Street, Kirkby Lonsdale, LA6 2AH, or email firstname.lastname@example.org