Community Interest Company register swells to 1,000

A healthcare provider in Hull has become the thousandth business to set up as a Community Interest Company since the establishment of the new legal structure for social enterprises less than two years ago.

City Healthcare Partnership, one of the Government’s pathfinder projects for social enterprise in the healthcare sector, is being established by staff from Hull Primary Care Trust and aims to provide all primary and community health services across the city.

It will be one of 113 CICs active in the health and social sector. Other companies on the CIC register include transport companies, community radio stations, recycling companies and even a fish and chip shop. All are subject to the CIC structure’s asset lock, meaning their assets must be used for the benefit of the community, and are required to submit an annual community interest report to the CIC regulator.

“These are exciting times for social enterprise in general and community interest companies in particular,” said CIC regulator Julie Court. “I expect community interest companies to go from strength to strength, delivering services in health, housing, transport and education.”

Third sector minister Ed Miliband described the popularity of the CIC model as “impressive”. He said: “This is the latest evidence of the gathering pace of the social enterprise movement and its growing impact across the country – setting standards for ethical values in the private sector, and for innovation and user focus in the public sector.”

Jonathan Bland, chief executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition, described the growth of CICs as an “incredible result”. He said: “The fact that 1,000 community interest companies have been set up in less than two years shows that British entrepreneurs are no longer interested in just getting rich - this generation wants to help create a fair, just and sustainable society.”

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