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Community asset transfer


The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act enables requests to the local authority from community organisations / groups to acquire, lease or take over management of a publicly owned building or land. This request is known under the act as a Community Asset Transfer (CAT).


To be eligible to apply for a CAT organisations need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be a community controlled body with a minimum membership of 20 people
  • Members of the controlled body must be defined as a community which can be a community of interest or community of place
  • A Scottish charitable incorporated organisation (SCIO) with a constitution
  • A community based benefit society or a company limited by guarantee
  • Be able to provide details/evidence of demand for the services the organisation will deliver

First steps

The organisation must:

  • Identify who owns the property
  • Consult with the community that they support your application
  • Research similar projects that could either support or compete with your initiative
  • Identify potential partners, and stakeholders including funding opportunities
  • Involve current and prospective funders early in the process. Engage with them to gain their views, as well as keeping them informed
  • Be realistic about timescales, be aware that negotiations and approvals can take time
  • At an early stage, hold an initial negotiation meeting. This will ensure that the proposal is workable
  • Scrutinise all documents to make sure you understand the content. Is the agreed ‘deal’ clear to all
  • Ask if you do not understand something, don’t just sign on the dotted line
  • Keep your community informed about your proposal and its progress

Guidance and application form in relation to the CAT process is available. Property schedules are also available for assets under the CAT process at less than market value to groups who can demonstrate community benefit.

The process maps are available for viewing in the publications section below.  For more information get in touch with the contacts listed below:
Telephone 01592 583346

Slides from the Asset Transfer Workshop held on 23 May 2018 are available in the publications section below entitled ‘Asset transfer workshop slides - May 2018’. There are six sets of slides.


Useful links