Charity Commission
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No further role for charity regulator over sale of Trevalga estate in Cornwall

The Charity Commission has concluded that it has no further regulatory role regarding the trustees' decision to sell the Trevalga estate.

The Charity Commission has concluded that it has no further regulatory role regarding the decision of the trustees of the Gerald Curgenven Will Trust (registered charity number 1147365) to sell the Trevalga estate near Boscastle in North Cornwall.

The regulator has been examining the decision-making of the trustees to seek assurance that they have been acting in line with their legal duties and responsibilities in relation to the proposed sale.

Local residents had raised concerns about the validity of the sale, pointing to their interpretation of the provisions of the charity’s governing document.

Officials for the regulator met with the trustees of the charity, and thoroughly assessed the matter, including the concerns raised by those affected. The trustees demonstrated to the Commission that it is within their powers to sell the Trevalga estate, and that their decision was made independently and in compliance with their legal duties.

The Commission has therefore determined that it has no further role regarding the sale.

Under charity law, trustees have wide discretion to make decisions in the best interests of their charity. The Commission has no remit to make decisions on behalf of trustees, or to overrule decisions legally made by trustees. Instead, the Commission’s role is to determine whether the trustees have followed proper processes, and acted in line with their legal duties in reaching any decision concerning their charity.

Tracy Howarth, Assistant Director of Casework, said:

This has been a period of great uncertainty and anxiety for the residents of Trevalga and I know that this outcome will come as a further disappointment for those impacted.

However, having thoroughly assessed the matter, we have concluded this is not a matter in which the Commission can intervene. In this instance, we are satisfied that the trustees’ decision-making and the process followed have complied with the law and our guidance. It is therefore right that we have concluded our case.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.
Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission

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