Earlier this year, we were introduced to a local community group call Base Lab Studios, a recording studio in Watford who were looking for funding for a community project to support children and young people in Watford. Through courses and mentoring, Base Lab Studios aims to empower the young people they supported in order to have a career in the art and music industry. 

When we met Base Lab Studios, we identified that the legal structure, namely as a private limited company would prevent them from accessing funding from which they could benefit. This is because private companies are not able to apply for grants from funders such as the National Lottery Community Fund.  

As a result, and over multiple meetings we provided the team behind Base Lab Studios two options that would allow them to access the funding they needed: 

  1. Convert the existing limited company into a Community Interest Company (CIC) or,  
  1. Establish a new organisation, either a CIC or a charity, and do all their community work through that organisation.  

It was decided that option 2 would be the most suitable for them and then over the following weeks, W3RT CVS helped draft the relevant documents and application forms for Base Lab Community CIC to be incorporated. This was confirmed last month with Base Lab Community CIC being one of the newest voluntary organisations in Watford.  

One of the CIC directors, Andre Brewster, thanks W3RT CVS for their support and said, ‘We are grateful for the support provided by Alex at W3RT.’ He was very knowledgeable about all aspects of becoming a CIC and we found his guidance and support extremely valuable.” He added that ‘we look forward to continuing to work with W3RT CVS as we become established in the community and their help around funding will be extremely useful for us. 

W3RT CVS provides a range of free support to voluntary and community organisation in the Watford and Three Rivers area thanks to funding from Watford Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council. You can find out more about our services by clicking here and if you or your organisation would like support, get in touch by emailing [email protected]. You can find out more about Base Lab Community CIC by visiting their website here.   


Alex Murray


Lead for W3RT CVS in Watford. Helping to strengthen and support the local voluntary sector.