Public Asset Transfer: Empowering Communities

Public Asset Transfer: Empowering Communities
Development Trusts Association Scotland


The broad aim of the programme is to increase the flow of assets into community ownership. It aims to do this by encouraging and supporting local authorities and community groups both to gain a wider appreciation of the benefits and risks associated with asset transfer and by developing an understanding of the processes involved. In this context, asset transfer can range from disposal at full market price or for a nominal amount and can also include long leases.

The programme is running over two years (2009-11) and has three main components:

I. a review of current local authority policy and practice in relation to asset transfer across Scotland. In addition, this review aims to highlight examples of where local authorities have successfully transferred assets to community groups and provide illustrations of some of the key issues that can arise during the course of an asset transfer.

II. a series of seminars running through 2010/2011. The seminars will target different audiences – elected members, council officers and community groups. These seminars will explore aspects of the rationale for increasing community ownership of assets, highlight the benefits and risks that are inherent in asset transfer and in the community ownership of assets more generally. The seminars will also introduce some practical resources for those involved in the process – particularly in relation to assessing the benefits and risks involved.

III. a series of demonstration projects focusing on different parts of the country and different aspects of asset transfer. The selected projects will be offered a range of specialist support in order to facilitate a successful outcome and will take the form of partnerships between local authorities and community groups who have agreed to engage in a transfer of assets in their area. The scope of this phase will be broad and it is anticipated that it could range from consultancy support to assist in the development of a local authority-wide asset transfer strategy to the provision of a range of technical advice services with a focus on a specific transfer.

This report relates to the first element of the Programme and contains the main findings of the review of Council policy and practice.

Download full report here