Your Canal Boat is a Community Interest Company — or CIC. if you don’t know what that means, that’s okay, your banker probably doesn’t either. Ours certainly didn’t; perhaps because the British banking industry only created the category a few years ago. But with more than 14,000 CIC’s now in existence across the UK, it’s time more people understood this novel mechanism for conducting business.
A CIC combines elements of a traditional charity with for-profit enterprise. It’s non-profit, however, and works in similar settings, providing socially beneficial services, but with flexibility to finance itself through entrepreneurial efforts, in addition to being grant eligible.
Your Canal Boat CIC was created in the belief that the canals are one of London’s great and still under-utilised resources. We see the canal boat experience as a tool to address chronic educational and environmental challenges. Our first program — initiated this month — is in partnership with the London Sports Trust, and uses our principal vessel, the Molly Anna, to teach life skills to at-risk youth. Beyond basic knots and rope work — valuable knowledge transferrable to multiple settings — kids learn to work as a team managing and mooring a boat that weighs twenty times more than their family car.
We respond to more acute challenges as well. Covid-19 has shuttered indoor venues nationwide, side-lining one of the world’s great entertainment industries. Working with artists, local officials, and private companies we are identifying and developing canal-side settings suitable for outdoor performance. With audiences and health officials expressing preference for smaller venues and open-air settings, can the canal gain fresh relevancy as a floating entertainment district? We aim to see.
Youth needing new experience. Performers needing venues. Educators, youth workers, health professionals, artists…. Anyone with an idea for utilising the canal to achieve their respective program goal should know that Your Canal Boat CIC has the means to help: Grant-writing experience, a stunning boat, an experienced crew. Pick up the phone and call us. We want to be your canal boat!