In 2013, Marlow Rowing Club started operating as a charity. This is an explanation of that structure for membership.
Background: For many years Marlow Rowing Club was a private club - with no separate legal existence. Then it became a CASC in about 2005. In 2012 the club agreed to move its operations to a charitable company and this took place on Easter Day 2013.
Legal Structure: Marlow Rowing Club is a company limited by guarantee (No. 7954383) registered with Companies House in England. A company limited by guarantee is a normal company, but rather than each person owning a variable number of limited risk shares, each member gives an equal guarantee (to pay £10 if the company fails). That guarantee works like having one, non-transferrable, share in the company. The club does not need to use the word "Limited" in its name because it uses an exemption in company law that waives that requirement for charitable companies.
The club is also a registered charity (No. 1148327) registered with the Charity Commission. The club is also subject to charity law.
Because the club has some trading income it has a trading subsidiary, as is normal practice for charities. This is a "normal" company limited by shares (it has two, and MRC owns them both). That company is "Marlow Rowing Club Trading Limited", registered no. 8181167. It uses the trading name "Marlow Rowing Club" too, so to most people the difference is invisible.
Articles of the Company: Marlow Rowing Club's Articles of Association are downloadable.
Club Bylaws: In the old club a lot of detailed things were set by the rules. Some of these do not appear in the AoA of the new club and will now be set by bylaws. A list of the charity bylaws, which cover things like safety, conduct, child protection and membership can be downloaded.
Charitable Objectives: So what does MRC do, as a charity? Article 4 of the Charity's AoA sets out the charity's objects - in charity law, objects are what the charity can do: it doesn't have to do them all.
4. The charity's objects ("Objects") are specifically restricted to the following:
- 4.1 the promotion of community participation in healthy recreation in particular by the provision of facilities for rowing, sculling and other sports ("facilities" means land, buildings, equipment and organising sporting activities);
- 4.2 providing and assisting in providing facilities for sport, recreation or other leisure time occupation of such persons who have need for such facilities by reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disablement, poverty or social and economic circumstances or for the public at large in the interests of social welfare and with the object of improving their conditions of life; and
- 4.3 advancing the education of children and young people through such means as the directors think fit in accordance with the Charities Act 2011.
The charity's main activity is to own the freehold and leasehold of the land that the club operates from, arrange for use of the facility and provide rowing facilities (coaching, boats and structure) for the community - from children through to pensioners and for recreational rowers through to those representing GB or home nations. We also have para-rowing (disability rowing). We also run various rowing events. The new clubhouse will be the Marlow Watersports Hub, so it will also provide facilities to canoeing, open water swimming and triathlon clubs, provide fitness facilites for the community and be hired out for use by the wider community.