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The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
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Lyric Theatre (NI) joins growing register of charities

Belfast’s Lyric Theatre has this week become one of the latest charities in Northern Ireland to be registered by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. 

Frances McCandless, Chief Executive of the Commission, commented: “Compulsory charity registration began in Northern Ireland just over a year ago so it is still relatively new for many charities.

“However, so far the process is going well, with our staff working hard to process and register the thousands of charities which have been called forward to apply for registration to date.

“Registration is also bringing with it a wide range of benefits both for the charities and the wider public, including increased openness, transparency and accountability across the charity sector.

“We are delighted that The Lyric Theatre (NI), which is such a well known institution in Northern Ireland, has joined our growing register of charities and look forward to the register continuing to fill up over coming weeks and months.”

The Lyric Theatre (NI) (charity no: NIC100173), Northern Ireland’s only full-time producing theatre, was registered by the Commission on Monday 26 January 2015, with its entry available to view by searching the public register of charities here.

Ciarán McAuley, Chief Operating Officer at the Lyric, commented: “The whole team is delighted that we are successfully registered with the Charity Commission. 

“We believe this step demonstrates that our standards of governance are of the highest calibre and reflects our culture of openness and transparency.”

Under charity law in Northern Ireland, all charities must apply to the Commission for registration so it is important they get on board by checking here to see what steps they need to take now.

The Commission is managing the registration of Northern Ireland’s thousands of charities by calling organisations forward to apply in tranches 

However, all charities must ensure the Commission has their contact details by checking the Commission’s online registration lists and, if not included, submitting an Expression of intent form

Once charity registration is complete, the Commission’s public register will be the definitive directory of charities in Northern Ireland, providing a range of comprehensive data on charities, their trustees and activities.


For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Communications Officer, on telephone: 028 3832 0169, mobile: 07827338978 or email: 

Notes to editors

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the independent regulator of charities in Northern Ireland, established under the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008. 

Under charity law, an organisation must apply for registration as a charity in Northern Ireland, regardless of its income, size or whether or not it has received charitable tax status from HMRC, if:

  • it has exclusively charitable purposes 
  • it is governed by the law of Northern Ireland 
  • it has control and direction over its governance and resources. 

The Lyric Theatre (NI) runs a theatre at Ridgeway Street in Belfast for the production and staging of theatrical performances and the running of educational classes for people of all ages and backgrounds.  

Over 98,000 people attended performances at The Lyric Theatre (NI) in 2013/14, with a further 40,000 attending the theatre in 2014/15 to participate in learning programmes, to take a tour of the theatre or enjoy the public spaces.