The Borough of Kenfig received its status in Norman times and remained so until 1883 when the Borough was dissolved and the area lost its MP, C.R.M. Talbot of Margam Castle. In 1886 it was placed under the Municipal Corporations Act, into the hands of the newly formed Kenfig Corporation Property, a body of twelve Trustees responsible for granting the rights to cut fern and graze animals. This body existed, with amendment to the Scheme in 1955, until 15th April 1998, when a completely new and relevant Scheme replaced the original and outdated Scheme. The name of the body was changed to Kenfig Corporation Trust and the Charity Commission reaffirmed its charitable status.
The Kenfig Corporation Trust owns an area of land comprising 1,650 acres, including the Kenfig National Nature Reserve and Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club (215 acres), the Prince of Wales Public House and various other tracts of land, at and near to Kenfig. The Trust ownership of this land was confirmed by Judgement and Order of the Chancery Division of the Royal Courts of Justice, London, in 1971 after the Margam Estate laid claim to the ownership of the land.
The Trustees who manage this land on behalf of the Charity Commission are able to issue excess income accruing from land ownership for the general benefit of the inhabitants of the ‘Area of Benefit’, defined as being within the polling boundary of Cornelly ward – from the main-line railway at Pyle to New Park Farm (below the Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club) and as far west as Eglwys Nynnydd (on Water Street) in such charitable ways as they think fit. The Trustees have been advised that they should consider ways of benefitting either the community as a whole or groups within the community, rather than individuals. What exactly is charitable in law is not accurately defined, but would include the elderly or disabled, relief of poverty or sickness, the advancement of education and religion plus leisure and recreational activities.
In 2012 another amendment was agreed by the Charity Commissioner, this being that only nine Trustees are either co-opted or elected as Trustees. The Trustees meet to discuss any applications received, usually twice a year, in the spring and autumn, and provided there are sufficient funds and organisations to meet the criteria laid down by the Scheme, donations are then made. The Trustees are obliged to hold at least two ordinary meetings a year which are called to deal with relevant or urgent business needing to be dealt with. Meetings must be quorate for the purpose of decision making and special meetings can be called by the Chairman or two Trustees with not less than four days notice of the meeting. The Trustees appoint the Clerk who is responsible for the administrative business of the Trust. Kenfig Corporation Trust is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
If you are interested in the history of Kenfig you may like this informative website which has information on meetings and events; archives of publications, photographs, pictures, drawings and maps; and archaeology and artefacts from the Kenfig Dig: