Biodynamic Land Trust Feasibility Project Workshop

Latest Legal Structures for Social Enterprises, Co-ops, Community Asset Bodies and Community Land Trusts

Where: The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud GL5 1DF
When 6th July 2011

Set up legal structures using the latest toolkit of model rules developed by Cobbetts LLP: all you need to know about structures; work on your incorporation questions with housing/CLT expert Bob Paterson and solicitor Sarah Lines of Cobbetts.

Why bother?

Measure twice, cut once! Choosing the right legal form for your co-op, Community Land Trust, Community Farm Land Trust, community asset body, social enterprise or charitable venture is crucial to success. And here’s the why, what and how from the experts.  Bob Paterson, with a lifetime’s work in housing associations, community finance and CLTs, has commissioned Sarah Lines of Cobbetts solicitors to thoroughly revise five new sets of Model Rules, with a select a structure questionnaire, to make it easier to make the right choices.


This workshop will resource participants with the confidence and knowledge to feel at home using the toolkit of the latest updated legal structures available. There will be the opportunity to bring practical incorporation questions to firm up your plans with experts.

Who for?

Social enterprise and co-op advisors, consultants, social entrepreneurs, local food projects wanting to incorporate so as to secure land, co-ops and anyone considering setting up a co-op and or social enterprise.


9.00   Arrivals & Refreshments

9.30   Introductions: Martin Large BLT Action Research Project

10.00  Setting-up legal structures –  the essential building blocks
– Bob Paterson CFS/Community Land & Finance

  • Plenary session to exemplify the issues to be considered prior to deciding upon a legal structure

10.50  Introduction to the available legal formats – Sarah Lines, Cobbetts LLP

  • Plenary session – Why, what and how of Social Enterprise legal structures to include:
  • Industrial & Provident Societies (Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies)
  • Company Limited by Guarantee
  • Community Interest Company
  • Charitable Incorporated Company

11.40   Break and refreshments

12.00   Q & A

  • Participants list their questions, including practical examples of Social Enterprises that they are considering incorporating.

13.00   Lunch

13.45   Reflections on learning and afternoon questions: Martin Large/Bob Paterson/Sarah Lines

14.30   Workshop Sessions-Interest Groups Including

  • Biodynamic Farm Land Trust  & options for community asset ownership bodies: Martin Large/Bob Paterson
  • Stroud Community Assets Reinvestment Fund and Stroud Common Wealth
  • Forming a Community Land Trust – Legal structures and Governance: with Sarah Lines Cobbetts LLP, chaired by Max Comfort (SCW and Gloucestershire Land for People)

15.45   Closing session – Planning how to set-up an appropriate legal structure and the use of available model structures and toolkits. (Bob Paterson/Sarah Lines)

16.30 – 16.45    Evaluation & Close

The workshop is organised by Martin Large of the Biodynamic Land Trust Action Research Project, and Stroud Common Wealth

Applications: places are limited, and as there will be demand for this master class, to secure your workshop place, please send a letter of application, a cheque payable to ‘Stroud Common Wealth’ with your contact details and email, if you are vegetarian, for a receipt and joining instructions by June 27th 2011

Cost, including tea and coffee, sandwich lunch: £50 to individuals setting up social ventures; £75 for those participants from statutory and well-established organisations and consultants, £25 to SCW, Social Enterprise Centre and Gloucestershire land for people members. Fee is the same for all day or half day attendance. Attachments may be sent to you prior to the workshop, to be used in the workshop for reference.

Organizer: Martin Large:; 07765 006829

Administration and bookings: Aurelia St Claire:

Venue: The Exchange, Brick Row, Stroud GL5 1DF: Parking nearby at Church Street Car Park

Workshop Presenters

Bob Paterson is Visiting Social Enterprise Fellow, Community Finance Solutions at the University of Salford. Following research, a report Capturing Value for Rural Communities was published in 2007. This examined ways of making housing and workspace permanently affordable by separating the cost of land from the cost of housing, using Community Land Trusts (CLTs) or similar structures. This work has continued and he has been leading the CLT National Demonstration Programme supporting rural and urban CLTs. Bob was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2008 and is currently a Director of Community Land & Finance Ltd.

Sarah Lines, Director, Cobbetts LLP has worked in the housing and regeneration sector for 20 years specialising in housing law, governance and legal structures. Sarah worked on the registration of the first CLT to become a Registered Provider and understands the Charity law issues for CLTs who choose that route. Other CLT clients include Industrial & Provident Societies and Community Interest Companies. She is a regular speaker at the national CLT seminars and conferences and has been working on a governance and legal structures toolkit for fledgling CLTs and intermediary advisers.

Martin Large is leading the Biodynamic Farm Land Trust Action Research Project 2011, contributed to the 2007 Capturing Value for Communities work, and was the founding chair of Stroud Common Wealth, which enables co-op, social enterprise and CLT.

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