Community Asset Transfers

If you’re considering acquiring a club or facility, there a number of support services and tools you can help make your acquisition a reality.


1. Community Right to Buy

The community right to buy legislation allows communities to register an interest in land and have a pre-emptive right to buy the land when it comes up for sale.  If the land is already on the market or action has been taken by the owner of the land to transfer the land the community group may submit a late application to register an interest.  (Late applications are subject to more stringent requirements.)  The price payable may be agreed between the parties, failing which the value of the land will be assessed by an independent valuer.  The process (and timescales) are available here.

It is worth noting that the ‘Community Right To Buy’ may not be the most appropriate route for acquiring land as it may be possible to negotiate with the owner, the community group may prefer a lease or the group may adopt the asset transfer route.

2. Transferring ownership of sport facilities

Community Asset Transfers (CATs) are a means by which owners of land can transfer title, grant a lease or transfer e.g. management and operation of facilities to community groups.  A CAT can be by private negotiation or under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 (which governs CATs from “Relevant Authorities” (see Schedule 3 of the Act for a list of relevant authorities)).  Transfer are sometimes at below market value, especially if agreeing to the request would be likely to promote or improve inter alia economic development, social wellbeing or environmental wellbeing.  If the CAT proceeds under the Act the relevant authority must agree to the request unless there are reasonable grounds for refusal.

3. Community finance for Community Assets

See the Finance section of our site for more on how to raise the necessary capital for your acquisition (or see our Briefing Paper).

4. Assessing the impact of your club

Whatever the undertaking, your club will most likely need to report on its performance and impact. You may want to consider your Social Return on Investment to demonstrate the social value you add to society.

This measuring of impact is also true on the financial side.  For all types of funding, you will need to demonstrate to those loaning money, providing grants or buying community shares that you are meeting their conditions.

5. Help is at hand

If you’re considering a CAT, we’d love to hear from you and see how we can help you along the way – particularly around the incorporation of your organisation (giving it a legal entity capable of taking ownership of an asset and offering limited liability for its members) and the raising of capital necessary for renovations and developments.