The coming months will see exciting challenges and opportunities for Visit Nunney.
Visit Nunney was set up in July 2009 to promote tourism, business and the arts in Nunney.
Over the past five years, Visit Nunney has produced four exhibitions, Nunney flyers for tourist information centres, conducted guided walks for WI groups and Universities of the Third Age, and promoted community events such as Nunney Street Market and Fayre.
We have banged the drum for Nunney at every opportunity with stalls at the Frome Cheese Show, Nunney International Horse Trials and other events as well as in the media.
After several years of temporary websites for specific events, we launched this magazine style website in March last year. Since then, the site has had over 33,000 unique visitors and was recently nominated for the Good Web Guide Website of the Year.
Visit Nunney also promotes Nunney on social media. Our Twitter account @VisitNunney has a rapidly growing 2,450 followers.
You can read more about us, our background and the reasons for setting up Visit Nunney in our interview with the Good Web Guide.
Visit Nunney was originally set up as an informal not-for-profit division of Nunney-based Barton Cartwright Communications (of which we happen to be directors). Many of the promotion materials and exhibitions were directly paid for by Barton Cartwright as sponsorship. That may seem generous, but it does make Visit Nunney financially dependent to a large degree.
Where we produced posters for others, such as the Nunney Community Association (NCA) and Friends of Nunney Church, we did it at cost – in other words: they only paid printing costs and not for our time in designing and distributing them. On many occasions we put our hand in our own pockets to pay for flyers, posters and exhibitions.
“I want to express my very real gratitude to Visit Nunney for all the work that you have done, and are doing for the Friends of Nunney Church and also for the village. Your input is hugely appreciated and you have been immensely generous with posters, publicity and the exhibitions you have put on. Visit Nunney is doing an invaluable job and it is making a superb contribution to the village.”
Dr Mary Lynch-Staunton BEM, Friends of Nunney Church
Visit Nunney did very little to raise funds directly to fund activities that directly benefit Nunney. That is about to change.
We think that Visit Nunney is ready to stand on its own feet. We are quietly confident that it can look after itself now.
Community Interest Company
From 1 September 2014 Visit Nunney becomes a completely separate legal entity from Barton Cartwright Communications. It has always been independent from Nunney Parish Council, Nunney Community Association and other community groups, but now it will be officially a Community Interest Company (CIC).
Visit Nunney Community Interest Company (Company No. 09197083) is registered in England and Wales (Company No. 09197083) and regulated by the Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies.
A Community Interest Company is a business with mainly social objectives. Its profits are reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners. CICs tackle a wide range of social and environmental issues and operate in all parts of the economy.
By using business solutions to achieve public good, it is believed that social enterprises have a distinct and valuable role to play in helping create a strong, sustainable and socially inclusive economy.
Visit Nunney benefits the local community in Nunney by promoting tourism, business and the arts. We not only provide tourist information to attract visitors who spend money in the local pub, café and village shop; we also promote Nunney Street Market and Fayre, for example, which is one of the biggest fundraising events for many local charities and community groups as well as a hugely successful day for local businesses.
A CIC has the same obligations as other limited companies, including registration at Companies House and putting annual reports on public record. The Regulator must also be satisfied that the business will be carried on for the benefit of the specified community – Nunney, in our case – the so-called ‘Community Interest Test’.
The difference between a charity and a Community Interest Company is that charities exists only for charitable purposes; charities also have tax incentives and have to work in a much more restrictive regulatory framework – CICs don’t.
CICs can be more commercial than charities but – without a board of trustees – also have more flexibility to make the most of opportunities. CICS are eligible for the same tax reliefs available to other companies, but they are also subject to corporation tax and VAT.
More information on CICs is available on the website of the Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies.
Making Visit Nunney a CIC does give us greater flexibility to develop new activities. It will give Visit Nunney greater financial stability. And anyone in the local community has the assurance that if we do well, we can only use it for activities that have a clear benefit to Nunney.
It also gives us a more transparent, stronger position when dealing with funding providers and other third parties, including grant providers, sponsors and donors: Visit Nunney is a regulated social enterprise that is legally bound to benefit Nunney. If we can’t raise funds for exhibitions, tourist information and other materials, it will no longer automatically come out of our own pocket. We will need a longer-term strategic plan. We think that’s a good and fair development.
We want to develop new materials and partnerships that will benefit Nunney. Some are straightforward, others will require a little more time, investment and patience.
We will continue to work closely with local businesses, charities and community bodies in Nunney. But from now on we also have to report to the Regulator how we have involved these stakeholders and how our activities benefit Nunney. With the increased responsibility comes more accountability.
Visit Nunney has come a long way in five years. What started as a combination of a hobby and corporate social responsibility is about to become a Community Interest Company in its own right – a professional business that works hard for the local community.
We are very excited by the new opportunities that becoming a Community Interest Company offers Visit Nunney. It will help us raise our profile and develop new, innovative services to support community groups, charities and businesses in Nunney.
Together with the nomination for Good Web Guide Website of the Year these are exciting times for Visit Nunney. Thank you for supporting us.
If you have any questions about Visit Nunney Community Interest Company, contact us.