ICA:UK traces its roots to the first courses of the Ecumenical Institute in Britain in 1968, and its evolution in many ways mirrors that of ICA globally.

The first House in Britain was established in Teesside in 1971. ICA was first registered locally as a UK charity in 1976 with the launch in the east end of London of one of the original 24 pilot Human Development Projects. Town Meetings held around the country - 200 of them in 1978 - led to replication projects with disadvantaged urban and rural communities in England, Scotland and Wales.

Local & International connections

Local and international connections were strengthened by the Volunteer Service Programme, which from 1981-2006 trained and placed over 300 UK volunteers in ICA and related grassroots development projects worldwide - and by Village Volunteers, a sponsorship scheme supporting the indigenous local development workers of ICA in Kenya since 1985.

Partnerships overseas

International partnerships began with the administration of an ODA (now DfID) grant to ICA's work in Egypt in 1986-88, and expanded with further grants from Comic Relief and other donors since 1996.

Facilitation services

Facilitation services in Britain may be traced back to the very first LENS (Leadership Effectiveness and New Strategies) courses here in the early 1980s. The present UK programme of facilitation services began, however, with the first public Group Facilitation Methods course in Bristol in 1996.


As ICA decentralised globally in the 1980s, leaving local ICAs to recreate their own structural and programme arrangements, a nationwide UK membership network was established in 1987, comprised mainly of returned international volunteers.

This network then assumed responsibility for ICA's UK programme activity following the dissolution of the last ICA House in Britain, in London in 1989. Network members became the Trustees of the ICA charity of that time, ICA Development Trust (registered in 1985, charity no. 293086).


Following a resurgence of ICA activity in Britain in the late 1990s, ICA:UK was incorporated in 2001 by Trustees of ICA Development Trust in order to accommodate all of ICA's UK activities within a single limited-liability charitable company. Since ICA:UK's registration as a charity was completed in February 2002, ICA Development Trust transferred its charitable activities to ICA:UK and wound itself up in 2003.

Go to ICA:UK & Civil Society for a 1997 analysis of the context of that late 1990s resurgence of ICA:UK.

ICA:UK, 41 Old Birley Street, Unit 14, Manchester, M15 5RF // Tel: (+44 (0)161 232 8444) // Email: ica@ica-uk.org.uk
© ICA:UK 2009 - All Rights Reserved // ICA:UK is a non-profit company limited by guarantee (no. 3970365) and a registered charity (no. 1090745)