Charity regulator makes history with registration of 1000th Northern Ireland charity
History has been made this week with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland registering its 1000th charity – the Ulster Local History Trust (charity number: NIC101555).
The charity, which has trustees representing nearly every county in Northern Ireland, was added to Northern Ireland’s register of charities on 17 February 2015, marking the latest milestone in the development of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.
Frances McCandless, Chief Executive of the Commission, commented: “We are now in our second year of registering charities and, as marked by the milestone 1000th charity registered, things are really starting to move forward.
“We would like to congratulate the Ulster Local History Trust, and indeed all charities which have registered, on their new, charitable status, and we look forward to watching the register continue to grow.”
Charity registration began in Northern Ireland for the first time in December 2013, marking the beginning of a process which will see thousands of charitable organisations registered as charities.
It is compulsory for all charities in Northern Ireland to apply to the Commission for registration, regardless of the organisation’s size, annual income or whether or not it has registered with HMRC for charitable tax exemptions.
And the Ulster Local History Trust, which works to raise the standards of local historical work, became the 1000th charity to be registered by the Commission shortly before noon on Tuesday 17 February 2015.
Vicky Herbert, Secretary to the Ulster Local History Trust, commented: “We are delighted to have been officially registered by the Commission; which clearly demonstrates that we are an open, accountable and bona fide charity.
“We had initially been a bit daunted by the prospect of registering but it was a more straightforward process than we had envisaged, and to go down in history as the 1000th charity is an added bonus.”
According to estimates there are over 7,000 charities currently operating in Northern Ireland, with registration of all charities expected to take at least three years to complete.
The Commission is managing the process by calling charities forward to apply in tranches, with each charity having three months to submit their application from the date they are called forward.
Earlier this month the Commission announced the registration process had been slower than anticipated and urged all charities applying for registration to use the free guidance available on its website to support them through the process.
However, having now passed its milestone 1000th charity registered, the Commission is looking forward to watching the register of charities expand over coming years.
To check the Commission’s registration list to see if your charity is included or if there is any action you need to take to prepare for registration check here; or to access the range of free registration guidance click here.
For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Communications Officer, on telephone: 028 3832 0169, mobile: 07827338978 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the independent regulator of charities in Northern Ireland. It was established under the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008
The Act states that the Commission must keep a publicly accessible register of all charities in Northern Ireland.