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August 11, 2009

Asset transfer needs Govt support

In England, experience has shown that a certain amount external financial support is needed to ‘ease’ the transfers of public assets into community ownership.   Having come to a similar conclusion, the Welsh Assembly and Lottery have just contributed to a new £13 million  Asset Transfer Fund.  In Scotland if it wasn’t for the Lottery, community land ownership would be nowhere.    Now that the Lottery is effectively closed for new business, surely it is about time the Government put some money on the table

David Ainsworth, Third Sector Online

The Welsh Assembly and Big Lottery have set up a £13m fund to help Welsh community groups acquire public buildings and develop them to suit their needs.
“There are many public assets in Wales that are not being used to their full potential, and empowering the community to use these buildings to suit their needs is the main aim of this initiative,” said Leighton Andrews, deputy minister for regeneration. “This is a win-win situation.”

He said the programme would regenerate disused buildings and provide new facilities for third sector organisations.

Funding to acquire the buildings will come from the Welsh Assembly Government, and the money to develop them will come from the BLF, which will also process the applications. Organisations will be able to apply for cash from mid-October