Community Interest Companies (CICs) were first established in the UK in 2005. Since then they have grown considerably, both in number and in the diversity of the activities they undertake. The CIC legal structure supports a wide range of activities, they range from very small local projects to multi-million pound health services, covering all industry sectors and are located in every area of the UK.
CICs are limited companies which operate to provide a benefit to the community they serve. They are strictly 'not for profit', the purpose of a CIC is primarily one of community benefit rather than private profit. Whilst returns to investors are permitted, these must be balanced and reasonable, to encourage investment in the social enterprise sector whilst ensuring true community benefit is always at the heart of any CIC. For some CICs this is delivered through the provision of a service to a specific community, for example a welfare service to vulnerable people, in others it will be an activity that generates profits which are used to support a specific purpose such as a running a cafe where all profits generated are used to benefit the community. Each CIC is required to submit on a yearly basis a report detailing the activities undertaken and how these have benefited the community.
Going Forward Buses CIC was first registered in December 2016 following GoRide CIC's decision to cease operating the Goring to Wallingford bus service. The aim of the company is not just to keep this much valued service going, but also to go further by assisting other local communities in exploring possible solutions to their public transport needs that are no longer being fulfilled by local authorities.