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May 20, 2009

Major boost for asset transfer

Some councils view asset transfer as a powerful tool in their efforts to empower communities,  while others have been somewhat less than enthusiastic. With new funding from Scottish Government, Development Trusts Association Scotland is about to embark on a major programme of work to promote the transfer of public assets into community ownership

DTAS Asset Transfer Programme


Experience in the UK suggests that there are three main barriers to increasing asset transfer:

• Political will
• Officer imagination
• Community capacity

A programme to increase successful asset transfer will need to address all three aspects.  A key ingredient of success will be to change attitudes within local authorities and to some extent within the community sector as well.  The programme outlined below therefore focuses on raising awareness of the benefits of community asset ownership; identifying, disseminating and developing effective practice in asset transfer through targeted studies and demonstration work; and providing key resources for those involved in asset transfers.  The key target groups for the programme are councillors, local authority officials, and community groups.


The aim of the programme is to increase community asset ownership by encouraging and supporting local authorities and community groups to achieve fair and effective transfers of assets to community organisations within a wider strategy of local community asset development.

The objectives of the programme are:

a. To raise awareness amongst councillors, local authority officers and community groups of the benefits and risks of community asset ownership and assets transfers.

b. To identify and disseminate lessons from effective practice in encouraging community ownership and management of assets through assets transfer and wider policies to support community asset ownership.

c. To provide training, toolkits and other practical resources for councillors, local authority officers and community groups on asset transfers.

d. To provide targeted support in selected local authority areas to develop a joint strategy and action plan on assets transfer.

e. To provide targeted development support for selected community groups to enable them to take on transferred assets.