Legal structures

The Deciding structures section suggests factors you may need to consider when determining the legal and governance structures, systems and processes.

When considering new legal models for parks, it may be useful to weigh the options against your ambitions and core principles.


For instance, you might look for legal structures that ensure:

  • the benefits that the park assets deliver are protected forever
  • parks are ultimately run for the benefit of the public - both present and future
  • parks are run in a financially efficient manner and that potential sources of income are maximised so long as this provides a net public benefit


Our research suggests that a dedicated parks charity - or Parks Trust - has the potential to deliver on these ambitions. Below is one example of a legal structure that might be used to establish a Parks Trust.


Illustration showing an example of a legal structure for a Parks Trust


The main body of the Parks Trust in this example is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. This charitable company would employ staff, manage the park operations and carry out public engagement. 
A separate charitable trust might be needed if the Parks Trust wishes to hold an endowment, as shown in this example. 
A separate trading subsidiary might be needed if the Parks Trust wishes to carry out certain trading activities, as shown in this example. This trading subsidiary could take a number of forms depending on the Parks Trust’s specific requirements.
This example legal structure is intended to be a starting point for discussion. There are likely to be various different legal structures that could be used depending on your particular needs and circumstances. You will need to seek legal advice early on in your project to determine which legal structures might be right for you.


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