Physical assets are often central to place-based approaches as an anchor point for the community. Locally led organisations with assets can play a supportive and collaborative role in the community, bringing together a range of organisations and delivering important services.
Communities can play a key role in regeneration of an area through the use of assets. They can protect local services and make use of facilities that may otherwise be lost. In many instances this can reverse economic decline of area and help attract investment. When control is closer to community it can allow better stewardship of assets and more intensive use based on community needs and aspirations.
There are a number of routes available for communities to acquire assets. The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 introduced new legislation that gave communities a right to request to buy, lease, manage or use land and buildings belonging to local authorities, Scottish public bodies or Scottish Ministers (relevant authorities). In addition, there are also now three sperate Community Right to Buy options for communities who wish to acquire privately owned land.
The rights that communities have to buy land are supported by a number of organisations and initiatives.
Scottish Government Community Land Team
The Community Land Team in the Scottish Government administer the four community right to buys in Scotland - Land reform: Community right to buy - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).
The rights to buy are:
- Part 2 Community Right to Buy
- Part 3 Crofting Community Right to Buy
- Part 3A Community right to buy abandoned, neglected or detrimental land
- Part 5 Right to buy land to further sustainable development
The Community Land Team are happy to speak to all interested parties regarding the processes and procedures provided for in the legislation. You can get in touch with them at email@example.com
Scottish Land Commission
The Scottish Land Commission is a public body set up to engage with the public and advise the government on land reform issues.
Their website has a wide range of information on ownership and land reform issues in Scotland, including the transformation of vacant and derelict land and how land reform can support good placemaking and housing.
Advice and support from the Community Ownership Support Service
The service is run by the Development Trusts Association Scotland, funded through the Scottish Government and supported by a range of partners. They work with communities who wish to take on public assets through the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) process as well as supporting communities who wish to undertake Community Right to Buy (CRtB).
This free, advisor-led service is delivered Scotland-wide and provides individual community groups with a bespoke support service. Their support includes:
- Expert advice on all aspects of community ownership
- Training courses on community ownership and development processes.
- Sign-posting to other support agencies
- Web access to information on good practice, toolkits and case studies
Scottish Land Fund
The Scottish Land Fund offers grants of up to £1 million to help communities take ownership of the land and buildings that matter to them, as well as practical support to develop their aspirations into viable projects.
Funded by the Scottish Government and delivered in partnership by The National Lottery Community Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the fund can provide support to voluntary or community organisations in urban and rural areas to become more resilient and sustainable through the ownership and management of land and land assets.
You can get in touch via the National Lottery Community Fund on 0300 123 7110 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Empowering Communities Programme
Communities pursuing asset ownership may also be able to access support from the Scottish Government Empowering Communities Programme.
The Empowering Communities Programme comprises two targeted funds:
The Investing in Communities Fund (ICF) replaces 5 previous community funds as a streamlined approach to supporting communities to develop the resources and resilience to decide their own aspirations, priorities and solutions in response. The fund is targeted to support Scotland's most disadvantaged or fragile communities, to tackle poverty in all its forms on their own terms.
The Aspiring Communities Fund aims to help community bodies and third sector organisations in disadvantaged areas to develop and deliver long-term local solutions that:
- address local priorities and needs
- increase active inclusion
- build on the assets of local communities to reduce poverty and to enable inclusive growth
The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations - Funding Scotland page also provides useful resources to support communities identify relevant funding opportunities.
Statement of land rights and responsibilities in Scotland.
This statement seeks to inform policy and practice around land issues in Scotland, operating with other relevant strategies and policies.
It applies to all urban and rural land, buildings and other infrastructure in Scotland, and it is equally relevant to all the people and communities of Scotland, whether land owner, land manager, tenant or land user. For further information, please see Scottish land rights and responsibilities statement - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) .