Changes to the charitable objects of the Castle Park Trust

Closing date: 9 March 2020

Background

The Castle Park Trust is a charitable trust (registered number 507587), of which Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council is the sole trustee. The Trust was established in 1933 when the 18th century house and surrounding parklands were given to the former Runcorn Rural District Council for the public benefit of the area.

Certain conditions (the Trust’s ‘Objects’) were attached to the gift of the house and parkland. These included:

  • To use the house and surrounding buildings for:
    • council offices for the purposes of the council as local authority and the inhabitants of the area of benefit;
    • the advancement of the education of the inhabitants of the area of benefit;
    • a museum, art gallery of public library.
  • To use the parkland as an historic public park for the benefit of the inhabitants of the area.
    • The trustee may only charge for admission to the park in respect of specific facilities or special events whether run by the trustee, the executive committee or any other body or person.
  • The trustee may only erect new buildings if they are necessary or desirable to further the objects of the charity and do not affect the historic character of the park.

The property has been marketed on the open market and no interest has been received from organisations wishing to use the buildings for education or a museum, gallery or library. The Council has no further use for the building as offices.

The Council, as trustee, therefore wishes to widen the current uses, namely for recreation and leisure time occupation in the parkland and local training and employment opportunities within the buildings to comply with its duties under charity law, which includes managing the resources of the Trust responsibly and acting in the best interests of the Trust.

What are we consulting on?

To achieve the aim of widening the objects of the charity for greater benefit of the inhabitants of the area, the Council must make an application to the Charity Commission, proposing new Objects for the Trust.

The proposed new Objects are as follows:

  • To use both the buildings and the parkland to benefit the inhabitants of the area of benefit, by providing facilities in the interest of:
    • the advancement of education of the inhabitants of the area of benefit; and
    • community, wellbeing and social welfare for the recreation and leisure time occupation with the objective of improving the conditions of life for the residents, including but not limited to providing a museum, art gallery or public library.
  • To use the buildings for:
    • Council offices for the purposes of the Council as local authority and the inhabitants of the area of benefit; and
    • for the benefit of the inhabitants of the area of benefit by the creation of training and employment opportunities by the provision of workspace.
  • To retain and use the parkland as an historic park for the benefit of the inhabitants, where the trustee may only charge for admission to the park in respect of specific facilities or special events whether run by the trustee, the executive committee or any other body or person.
  • The trustee may only erect new buildings if they are necessary or desirable to further the objects of the charity and do not affect the historic character of the park.

Whilst the Council do not envisage any of these proposals to be of a detriment to any local residents or businesses, we want to know your views on the proposed Objects as well as any additional suggestions you may have for improving the variety and quality of uses of Castle Park.

How to share your views

The 8 week consultation period closes on 9 March 2020. You can tell us what you think about the proposals by:

Further information

You can access the public register of charities on the Charity Commission website, and using the Trust’s registered number (507587), search for up to date information on the Trust.

How your views will be used

What you tell us will be used to inform the development of these proposals. Following the end of the consultation period, the Council will consider all feedback and make any amendments thought necessary and incorporate them into the application to the Charity Commission. We will feed back the results of this consultation in May 2020.

Other ways of accessing information

If you require a copy of this notice in a different format e.g. audio, braille, large print etc, please:

Please note:

We welcome views from all sections of the community and would encourage everyone to take part in this consultation. Note that the Council has a responsibility to make sure that its services are available to all, regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief or sexual identity. Comments that are offensive to particular groups or considered inappropriate under the Equality Act 2010 will not be considered or published as part of this consultation.

Location

Fountain Lane, Frodsham, WA6 6SA