Interim manager appointed to Manor Building Preservation Trust

The Charity Commission has appointed Jonathan Brinsden, a charity lawyer, to the post amid concerns about the charity's property and funds

Goldington Hall: a property of the charity
Goldington Hall: a property of the charity

The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to run a charity that preserves historic buildings amid concerns about private benefit for trustees.

The regulator opened a statutory inquiry into the Manor Building Preservation Trust in June because of the possible misuse of its funds and assets.

The commission said at the time that it had frozen the property and funds of the charity, which owns property in the UK and Ukraine, including Goldington Hall, a Grade II listed building in Bedfordshire.

The regulator said today that it had in July appointed Jonathan Brinsden of the law firm Bircham Dyson Bell as interim manager of the charity, to the exclusion of its trustees.

It said he had taken over the operational management, governance and administration of the charity on a temporary basis.

"The commission considers that the appointment of an interim manager is a necessary step to protect the charity’s property and funds," a statement from the regulator said.

The regulator said the interim manager would "gain vacant possession of property owned by the charity, some of which is currently occupied by trustees", and determine whether there were "any potential claims against the current and former trustees of the charity in relation to any breach of trust".

He would also consider whether the charity was pursuing its objects for the public benefit and might dissolve the charity if this was not the case and this could not be rectified.

It said he would also pursue litigation "as considered appropriate in the charity’s best interests".

The Manor Building Preservation Trust had an income of £3,622 and an expenditure of £112,355 in the year to the end of June 2015, according to figures on the Charity Commission website.

It has not been required to file accounts with the regulator since 2012/13, when it had an income of £112,641 and an expenditure of £67,151.

No one from the charity responded to a request for comment on Monday morning.

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