We Become a CBS

Shildon Railway Institute starts 2024 as a newly registered Community Benefit Society.

We announced mid way through 2023 that the membership of the Institute had agreed to reconstitute as a Community Benefit Society in order to strengthen its position as a community run social enterprise.

Such transformation, however, does not happen overnight, and following the ballot a number of conditions had to be met in order to satisfy the Financial Conduct Authority who oversee registration, with checks being made against our proposal. Your committee worked hard for the remainder of the year to ensure we were in good shape to finalise the transformation, and we're pleased to announce that our application was successful and the change was formalised on 3rd January 2024.

This is the latest of several transformative iterations for the Institute - and whilst it changes much in terms of our legal and regulatory position and perceived trustworthiness, at the same time it changes very little in terms of our purpose - which is, and always has been, to serve our community according to its needs, and to help this community celebrate our unique industrial culture and heritage. The principles upon which the Institute was founded remain the same, including that it should be led by a committee drawn and elected from the membership.  

The organisational stages of the Institute, throughout its history so far, are as follows:

1833 - Founded - as a "Library for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge" - first of its kind anywhere for railwaymen

1842 - Reconstituted - as New Shildon Mechanics Institute

1913 - Reconstituted - as a North Eastern Railway Institute

1923 - Renamed - to become a London & North Eastern Railway Institute

1952 - Absorbed - to become a branch of the British Rail Staff Association (BRSA)

1984 - Reconstituted - separating from (BRSA) as Shildon Railway Institute, an Unincorporated Association

2024 - Reconstituted - becoming Shildon Railway Institute Limited, a Community Benefit Society.

As you can see, it's quite natural that an organisation might change its legal entity nature from time to time as regulations evolve, situations change and needs and opportunities arise. The current committee hope that in the years to come the Institute thrives and that, only when the time and circumstances demand it, the membership of the future might change the legal entity again. But for now we are certain that the membership has supported the right change at the right time, and we will do our best to put that change to good effect. 

Date: Friday 5th January 2024