Under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, community groups can request to take over publicly-owned land or buildings if they feel they can make better use of them for the local community.
The Act gives community bodies the right to make an Asset Transfer Request for ownership, lease, management or use of a publicly owned building or land, regardless of whether they are available for sale or considered surplus to requirements.
As part of the process the Council will require Community Bodies to demonstrate that they have a clear understanding of the work involved in setting up their proposal activity or service, the funding required and the business acumen to ensure the proposed use of the property is sustainable in the longer term. For a Community Asset Transfer application to be successful the community body will need to clearly evidence their experience, and the benefits they propose to provide for the community. Applications for a community asset transfer will not be deemed complete or valid unless the required information requested in the application form has been received, along with a realistic business case. If a community body is requesting the transfer of ownership of a Council owned asset at less than market value then they must clearly show an appropriate level of social value will be provided by their proposal.
All community bodies making an asset transfer request are required to meet the criteria as noted within the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. This states that a community transfer body must:
- Have a written constitution incorporating the following provisions:
- A definition of the Community to which the body relates
- Provision that the membership is open to anyone
- Provision that the majority of the Body’s members is to consist of members of that community
- Provision that the members of the body who consist of members of that community have control of the body i.e. be in charge of decision-making
- Include a statement of the body’s aims and purposes; including a promotion of a benefit for the community
- Provision that any surplus funds of assets of the body be applied for the benefit of the community
- Be a Community Controlled Body
In addition, if the request is for the transfer of ownership of a property the Community Body must also:
- Be incorporated as a company or a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) or a Community Benefit Company
- Include a provision within their constitution that they will have a minimum of 20 members
- Include a provision within their constitution for the transfer of assets on winding up
All requests must set out the level and nature of support for it within the community to which the community transfer body relates, i.e. the community as defined in the community transfer body's constitution. The Legislation only refers to the support from the constituted community body, but details of any support received from within the geographic community should also be provided. The level and nature of support envisioned will depend on the particular circumstances, but could include evidence from a range of activities undertaken to engage with the wider community, such as public meetings, community surveys and presentations to other community groups within the locality.
The Council has a responsibility to assess requests transparently against a specified list of criteria, and to agree the request unless there are reasonable grounds for refusal.
How to make a request
We encourage groups to submit an initial transfer request expression of interest in order to understand your interest, and if required direct you to appropriate support and provide you with any relevant information that you may need to in order to submit a valid, formal asset transfer application. Once you have completed the Asset Transfer Request application it should be submitted by email to the community asset transfer email address noted in the contact details below.
Download the expression of interest form:
Download the asset transfer application form:
Tillydrone Library and Family Centre
Woodside Burgh Hall
You can review Aberdeen City Council Community Asset Transfer Annual Reports in the related documents below:
Aberdeen City Council
Business Hub 10
Second Floor South