The council has supported the transfer of surplus assets to the community for a number of years and the introduction of the Localism Act combined with the council adopting a new 10 year Strategic Asset Management Plan in July 2011 was the trigger for starting to develop an agreed policy based approach to Community Asset Transfer. The councils Cabinet agreed the approach in September 2012.
What it means is transferring a piece of land, property or other asset to a voluntary or community organisation; which in return commits to providing community benefits. Community Asset Transfers are usually by way of a lease (1 - 99 years) or freehold transfer depending on the circumstances at less than the market value. Conditions are applied to all transfers to ensure that the asset is used for the purpose for which it was transferred and the asset must be surplus to the council's requirements for it to be considered.
Overall the process from initial Expression of Interest to transfer takes about 12 months and in the time since the council adopted the new policy Cabinet has agreed to the transfer of 17 assets - buildings in Milnthorpe, Brampton, Shap, Longtown and Workington, surplus land in Dent, Walton, Lamplugh, Castle Carrock and Silloth, playing fields in Barrow, Silloth and Workington, allotments in Cockermouth and a swimming pool in Wigton.
The council's approach is set out here:
It gives guidance on what to expect and what the council is looking for, the expression of interest and full application form and details the process the council goes through in considering an application. For further information contact:
Georgina Ternent - Business Change Project Manager
Tel: 07825 340531 firstname.lastname@example.org
If your group is considering a Community Asset Transfer you will find lots of helpful information on the My Community website.