Development Trust Association: Community Ownership of Assets
The Community Empowerment Action Plan published jointly by the Scottish Government and COSLA in March 2009 established community ownership as key to their commitment to Community Empowerment. The plan states:
“There are many different ways in which communities can become more empowered. There is no one model which would fit every circumstance.
For some communities empowerment will involve owning assets. Communities owning land and buildings can have a huge impact on their empowerment. Asset ownership won’t be the answer for all communities, depending on their circumstances and their own aims, but it can be very powerful.
Asset ownership can have key impacts. It can provide revenue for community organisations, making them more sustainable in the long term. It can give local people a renewed sense of pride in their communities, a real sense of a stake in the future of the places they live and work. For some community organisations, working towards asset ownership can be a fantastic catalyst for the group growing and maturing.”
Community Ownership Support Service
Following the success of the 2-year Promoting Asset Transfer programme, the Scottish Government continues to recognise asset ownership as being key to community empowerment, and to support DTAS’ role in advancing this important agenda. DTAS has therefore received further funding from the Scottish Government to establish a Community Ownership Support Service (COSS). This will enable us to take forward work with both local authorities and community groups to explore and advance effective transfer of local authority assets to community ownership.
Through its team of advisers the COSS can offer Scotland-wide support and advice to both local authorities and community groups including:
• Expert advice on all aspects of asset transfer
• Training courses on the asset transfer and asset development process
• Sign-posting to other support agencies
• A comprehensive web resource including information on good practice, toolkits and case studies.
Communities will also be able to link into DTAS’ network to explore the wide range of business models being adopted by other communities throughout Scotland and across the UK.
For Local Authorities:
A bespoke advice and support service focussed on community asset transfer which could:
• Assist Council staff in developing or revising the asset transfer strategy for your authority. This could take the form of discussion, workshops, resources, study visits, and good practice examples.
• Provide an independent review of an authority’s current policy and practice on asset transfer, identifying priority areas for development.
• Provide training sessions with elected members and/or council staff (key officials or cross departmental) to explore various strategic, operational and practical aspects of asset transfer.
• Provide bespoke training for community organisations within your local authority area to build their capacity to explore and take forward ownership of local assets.
For more information or to discuss how we could help you contact the Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) on 0131 225 2080 or email Rebecca@dtascot.org.uk