Torrs Hydro New Mills Limited was founded in 2007 and is incorprated as an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS). The Financial Services Authority (FSA - the regulator for UK IPSs) defines this special form of company incorporation as:
“An organisation conducting an industry, business or trade, either as a co-operative or for the benefit of the community, and is registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965. Societies run for the benefit of the community provide services for people other than their members.”
Torrs Hydro was registered in this way specifically so that the community could own the hydro electric scheme and operates for the benefit of the comunity. To do this, Torrs Hydro has a set of rules that set out our corporate objectives:
Examples of the ways in which we may carry out our aims include:
The financial report presented at this year’s AGM (held on March 29th) was rather depressing after the previous year’s bumper output, but if there isn’t any water in the river there is nothing much that can be done. Thanks to the payment received from the Environment Agency for taking over the fish pass, which was received in FY13/14 so is not included in the FY 12/13 total, plans are now in hand to carry out some upgrades of the fencing and tailrace that should make it easier to clear the intake and access the bearing for maintenance (and replacement if necessary).
In addition to the usual Q&A session on finances and operations, there were two substantive issues up for a vote: the protocol for distributing profits in the future and a possible new share issue designed to retire our loan and secure the project’s future, both of which were described in the January newsletter. After an extensive discussion, both passed with a large majority. The two serving Directors who were up for re-election were approved unanimously and shareholders expressed their appreciation of the efforts of all the volunteers who work so hard on the project throughout the year. The meeting finished with a fascinating presentation by members of the Bamford Community Pub on their efforts to date and the problems they have had to overcome to protect this vital village resource.
The rules do not allow the distribution of profits on assets to the members at any time.
Our company rules are based on a model set of rules provided by Wessex Reinvestment Trust which made it very easy to set up the company and launch a community share issue.