New Lanark wins four year legal battle against charity regulator

A legal judgement from the Court of Session means the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator will now recognise New Lanark Trust’s trading subsidiaries as charities.

Friday, 5th February 2021, 11:25 am
Whether visitors learn, stay, eat, or shop, they will now be directly supporting New Lanark

This ends a four-year legal battle by the Trust to establish that the sole purpose of its trading subsidiaries is to support its charitable aims.

New Lanark Hotels Ltd operates the Mill Hotel, self-catering Waterhouses, Wee Row Hostel and leisure suite.

New Lanark Trading Ltd includes the visitor attraction, school and group visits, yarn production and sales, café, retail shop, events, markets, ice cream production and generates hydroelectricity.

The Trust will now reclaim non-domestic rates, paid since 2015 for both trading subsidiaries and seek confirmation that mandatory and discretionary rates relief will apply in the future.

Trust chairman Bill Howat said: “We knew we had a strong legal case given the unique setting of this historic village and its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

"This decision will help us to continue developing our plans for a sustainable future with our partners.”

Chief executive Scott McCauley added: “This provides much-needed clarity to our legal and financial status.

"If and when the Trust is reimbursed it will provide a much-needed boost in difficult times.

"We are excited that all our visitors, whether they come to learn, stay, eat, or shop, will be directly supporting New Lanark and our charitable purposes”.

The Trust would like to thank The Scottish Government, Historic Environment Scotland, the National Heritage Lottery Fund, South Lanarkshire Council, RBS and Scottish Enterprise for their support during the pandemic.

It also also wishes to thank all those who continue to offer support through online sales and messages on social media.

Claire Freckleton, head of sales and operations, said: “We look forward to welcoming you all back to New Lanark World Heritage Site soon.

"We also hope to launch our new ambassador programme, building on the work and experience of the Friends of New Lanark who have contributed so much and are the foundation on which the new programme has been developed.”