Community Asset Transfer involves the transfer of operational
responsibility for an asset, including all maintenance and repair costs,
from the Council to a Voluntary and Community Organisation (VCO) through either a transfer of management responsibility, short or long term lease or through the transfer of outright ownership. Consideration will also be given to a phased transfer of responsibility dependent on the nature of the proposal.
The Council has in the past generally pursued long lease arrangements but a disposal at less than market value would be considered where it is necessary to comply with the funding criteria of the proposed project; or for the sustainability of the project i.e. the project is predominantly capital funded or long-term in nature.
Council policy on community asset transfer
The Council’s Community Asset Transfer Policy recognises that handing over the ownership of an asset can be a valuable tool in empowering communities, building the capacity of local citizens and to inspire others to create locally responsive solutions to community needs.
Reasons for considering community asset transfer
Community asset transfer is not about off-loading assets the Council no longer needs. Instead, it provides an opportunity to engage people in providing services in their local communities and can provide the opportunity for community groups to deliver services.
The Council’s physical assets include land, buildings and other structures and these are used for a variety of different social, community and public purposes. In the past the Council has transferred assets to community groups for a variety of reasons. In considering future potential asset transfers, the Council will evaluate each proposal in terms of its ability to contribute to the following:
- Community Plan and Single Outcome Agreement
- Community benefits
- Community empowerment - building the capacity of voluntary groups and encouraging a sustainable voluntary sector
- Economic development and social enterprise
- Improvements to local services
The community transfer of assets can make an important contribution to the range of innovative, bottom up solutions which community groups can develop to address local needs. Importantly, these solutions not only meet the needs of the local people, they can also contribute to the delivery of council and national strategic priorities.
What assets will be considered suitable for transfer?
These may include public halls, town halls, community centres, public conveniences, country parks, play areas, and small museums. Other assets identified by the Council as being surplus to requirement or under-utilised may also be considered. Each application for transfer will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
What assets will be considered unsuitable for transfer?
The Council also recognises that some assets must remain within Council ownership and management to support delivery of essential services, provide an income stream or may have restrictive covenants on their future use making them unsuitable for transfer or impact on the timescales for transfer e.g. being held in the Common Good. The Council will consider as part of the initial assessment of an application whether the asset should be retained by the Council or whether a transfer could be possible.
download the policy