Community asset transfer involves the transfer of responsibility for buildings or land from the local authority to a voluntary or community organisation. It presents opportunities to ensure that facilities can continue to be available locally for social, community and public use.
Voluntary and community organisations are often best placed to:
take on and manage council-owned facilities in their area.
access external funding that is closed to the council, which may provide additional support to sustain the asset.
use their knowledge and hands-on management of a property that can lead to greater independence, lower overheads and better value-for-money, as well as a more extensive use of the facility.
Local groups can make an application to manage council-owned property on a short or long term basis, as long as the transfer of ownership (or leasehold) demonstrates real and lasting benefit in local neighbourhoods.
The local authority is fully committed to using council assets to form long-term partnerships with suitable voluntary and community organisations, in order to create stronger, more cohesive and more sustainable communities.
The council has introduced a community asset transfer policy, which sets out the criteria for organisations wishing to apply for an asset transfer (see document listed below).
The policy is supported by a How to apply for a Community Asset Transfer Guide that outlines the various stages of the application and decision making process, together with expected timescales (see document listed below).
Each organisation wishing to apply for community asset transfer will be required to meet the following criteria:
be a charitable or not-for-private-profit organisation, e.g. a registered charity, company limited by guarantee with charitable status, community interest company, a co-operative or community benefit Industrial & Provident Society with an asset lock, etc.
generate social, economic or environmental benefits to local people
benefit as wide and diverse a range of local people as possible
have robust systems, governance and policies, as detailed in the appendix of the Community Asset Transfer Policy (see document listed below)
have the capacity to manage the asset and have directors or committee members who have the necessary experience and skills
Each request for community asset transfer is considered on the basis of a written business case, consisting of a detailed business plan and evidence of need, expertise and the relevant quality standard as detailed in Appendix A of the policy.
Full details of the asset transfer process can be found in the guide, How to apply for community asset transfer (see document listed below).
Community asset transfer is a policy that is encouraged by the local authority and refers to council-owned assets only. The process is defined by the council and is subject to negotiation. The value of the asset is usually negotiated at an undervalued rate and the terms are negotiable.
Thecommunity right to bidis a statutory requirement, that includes any type of publicly or privately owned community land or buildings. The process is defined in theLocalism Actand the asset can be sold for market value.
If you want to express an interest in applying for an asset (building or land) under Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council's Community Asset Transfer Policy, please fill in all the sections on either form: