Barking Riverside, Scrattons Farm and Thames View

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Residents are at the heart of the BRL CIC

The Barking Riverside Limited Community Interest Company, or BRL CIC for short, is a bespoke, not-for-profit organisation responsible for holding, managing and maintaining the Barking Riverside estate. It is responsible for outdoor spaces including roads, bicycle routes, parks, green spaces and areas of hard landscaping like public squares. This also means that it is responsible for appointing the estate’s management company (currently Tandem but soon to be replaced) and for fully scrutinising the estate service charge.

The CIC will also seek to take ownership of structures like the Rivergate Centre from the developer, Barking Riverside Limited (BRL), in the near future, via a newly-formed charity.

The CIC will also have a focus on providing community benefit across the Barking Riverside estate. The organisation deals with both the freehold and leasehold interests of residents in the area, and other assets on the Barking Riverside site. It also provides community and estate services during the development of Barking Riverside and after its completion.

Additionally, the CIC provides social inclusion and other community functions for the benefit of those who live in the area. The organisation is responsible for the long-term stewardship of the development to further the interests of the community.


Historical background

The original CIC had been in operation since 2012 with only four (non-resident) directors, however in December 2021, a group of residents, local community groups and other stakeholders, also known as the Learning Forum, came up with recommendations for the future of the CIC after a year-long review and launched an engagement period with the local community to consult on those.

Those proposals touched on how the community should be involved in running key estate services in the future, putting residents at the heart of Barking Riverside.

Alongside BRL, the Learning Forum considered the feedback received from residents and local stakeholders, which was later shared with the local council.

Out of those proposals, it was established that a new board would be formed to run the CIC, with a majority of directors being residents chosen by the community – a very exceptional board setup.

The new board is now made up of: five resident directors; one independent chair; one director from BRL; one representative appointed by the local council; and one director from L&Q. This new setup will enable a much higher level of resident-led decision making.


Future plans

The set up of a new charity alongside the CIC is also one of the proposals put forward by the Learning Forum, to act as a guardian for how local community buildings like the Rivergate Centre are run. It was proposed that the board of the charity is made up of: three independent trustees; two directors of the CIC, including the chair; one BRL director; and one representative appointed by the local council.

Besides managing community buildings, the charity will have other charitable objectives that benefit the area and community. These might include improving the environment, promoting the arts, or social inclusion.


By Venilia Amorim

Local resident, REB member and resident director of the BRL CIC

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