Case Study

A Cut Above

4th January 2016

A Cut Above

Dudley Canal Trust and Dudley Canal Trust (Trips) Ltd are two registered charities whose purpose is to protect the historical network of canal tunnels, limestone mines and waterways of the Dudley canal network for the benefit of the general public. The two organisations welcome over 70,000 visitors each year.

Higgs & Sons has been working with both charities in recent years and with the opening of an exciting new visitor portal scheduled for this autumn, it has been a particularly busy year.

“We are delighted to be opening this incredible new visitor facility,” says Nick Morris, Chief Executive. “It is the culmination of several years’ work involving various stakeholders and supported by grant funding from organisations such as Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, Black Country LEP and Biffa Award.

“The advice and support of Higgs & Sons on governance and regulatory matters in light of the reorganisation of the two charities and their activities and operations, alongside the comprehensive support on the multi-million pound development project has been invaluable.”

The iconic split-level Portal building houses an interactive exhibition as well as restaurant area, learning space and a function room and includes a new swing bridge and balcony over the canal.

Higgs’ involvement in the project included support from members of the Commercial Property team who advised on complex title and funding arrangements. Specialist support was also provided by the firm’s Charities and Not-for-Profit team which addressed the unique challenges that came about due to the relationship between the two charities. The team also advised on the complex reorganisation as the project developed, as well as state aid and grant funding issues.

Partner Lucy Obrey believes the project illustrates the strength of Higgs’ client service philosophy.

“Our work with both organisations is based on being able to bring in specialist advisers to meet particular and varied requirements. We understand that clients require advice and support on a range of matters and we approach every matter on a bespoke, needs-led basis which may involve different specialist teams supporting at any given time.

“It is an approach which has enabled us to meet challenging and complex projects with real success, just as we have with the Dudley Canal Trust and Dudley Canal Trust (Trips) Ltd.”


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