Setting up a charitable trust for your archives

Forming a charitable trust to own and manage a company's historic archive can be a cost-effective way to safeguard this heritage.

Transferring the ownership of the archives to the trust may well ensure the survival of historic records if the business environment for the parent company becomes difficult. The trust may be eligible to apply for funding from external sources and there may be some financial incentives in the form of tax relief - for instance there is 80% relief on business rates for premises which are occupied by a trust. However, parent companies should take expert advice before embarking on this road as each company's situation will be complex in different ways and there will be no blueprint that fits all.

Some companies which have successfully followed this route include N M Rothschild & Sons; Sainsburys and the Royal Mail.

An article about establishing the Royal Mail Heritage Trust is available in the autumn issue of Recordkeeping magazine at:

Further advice on how to set up a charitable trust can be found on the Partnerships and Collaboration section of the Managing Business Archives website.