Community Asset Transfer (CAT) involves the transfer of the responsibility for an asset from the council to a community group or voluntary organisation. This can take several forms:
- transfer of management responsibility
- short or long term lease
- transfer of outright ownership
Assets considered suitable for transfer
The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 allows community bodies to make CAT requests in respect of any land or building the council owns. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.
The Scottish Government has set out the types of land that need not be included in our current list of assets (page 21).
Community Transfer Bodies (CTBs) are eligible to apply as outlined in the Act. There are two levels depending on the type of request that is being submitted:
1. A group requesting the transfer of ownership of an asset must be one of the following:
- a company limited by guarantee
- a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation)
- a Community Benefit Society with at least 20 members
2. A group requesting to lease or use an asset should meet the following criteria:
- has a written constitution
- is open to anyone in the community it covers to join
- is community led
- the majority of members are from that community
- is for the benefit of the community
We encourage CTBs to discuss their ideas with us at an early stage. This may be when you have identified an asset you are interested in, or to discuss your ideas and needs and see whether any suitable assets are available.
Complete an enquiry form If you are interested in applying for transfer of an asset. We will then contact you to discuss your proposals.
Before you apply
CTBs must supply a considerable amount of information and evidence to support their formal application. This is why we encourage use of the enquiry form as a first step. Further information is available from:
- COSS’s (Community Ownership Support Service) Asset Transfer website. COSS is a Scottish Government funded programme, set up to help community groups take on land and buildings
- Scottish Government guidance for CTBs
- Angus Council’s Guide to the new Community Asset Transfer process
Live and archived asset transfer requests
You can view notices of current and archived asset transfer requests on the Tell Me Scotland website.
Benefits of community ownership
The benefits of moving land or property into the hands of local communities include:
- the asset has a particular importance to the local community
- the asset has heritage and cultural value
- there is a lack of a facility such as community cinema or skatepark
- the asset is already managed by the VCO and transfer would allow access to funding
- transfer will bring benefits to the wider community
- ownership will give security to the group which uses the asset, and allow them to improve it