Despite the scale of the challenge with over 4,000 buildings and spaces being lost every year, local people are fighting back. They are coming together across the country to save these spaces, by taking them into community ownership.
These groups – usually small voluntary organisations and charities – are committed to protecting them as a vital hub in their community and a space to offer services for the whole community. And they are doing this with little or no help from anywhere else – with just the power of community on their side.
And it’s why we need as many people as possible to join the ‘Save our Spaces’ campaign.
Register a local building or space as an asset of community value
Communities can nominate any public or private land or buildings in their community as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) with their local authority. If it meets the criteria for listing as an ACV, and if it ever comes up for sale in the future, the Community Right to Bid can be invoked. This puts a six month pause, or moratorium, on the sale to allow the community to raise funds to buy it. At the end of the six month period, the owner does not have to sell to the community and they can sell at whatever price they choose.
Locality can support you with the process.
Consider taking ownership of a community space
Charities play a vital role in protecting these spaces – they are the ones that usually step in and take on community ownership. Their governance means they meet the criteria for councils to transfer ownership – they have community needs at the heart. And we know that for those local voluntary organisations that take on these spaces it can mean greater financial sustainability and capacity to adapt to an ever changing funding environment. And these spaces offer vital hubs for local people that they exist to support.
That’s why we are asking the charity sector to consider the opportunity of taking on community ownership of an asset under threat through a process call Community Asset Transfer.
Community Asset Transfer is the transfer of management and/or ownership of public land and buildings from its owner (usually a local authority) to a community organisation for less than market value, in return for social, economic or environmental benefit locally.
Locality is here to advise and support you – read more about how we can help you take on a community space.