Community asset transfer

Find out about taking over ownership or management responsibility of a publicly owned property asset

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, section 5 gives eligible community and voluntary organisations the opportunity to request to take over the responsibility of ownership or management of a publicly owned property asset (Land or Buildings). The transfer could be through full ownership, short or long term lease, at a discounted rate from the market value for the asset. 

Successful community asset transfers can bring significant benefits to the whole community, the Council and the eligible group.  Each application for transfer will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Any group looking to make a community asset transfer must check if they have an eligible legal structure before submitting an application.

We want our public buildings to be successful community assets bringing social, economic, health and environmental benefits to our local people. These key factors are at the heart of any successful community asset transfer.

Making a request: the process

A community asset transfer is the transfer of land or buildings from the council to an organisation, at a discounted rate from market value of the asset, which they feel they could make better use of. 

East Renfrewshire Council looks to support eligible organisations through the various stages of the process. 

View the stages of the Community Asset Transfer process  (PDF) [580KB]

Asset Register

To help community bodies identify assets that may be available through asset transfer, section 94 of the Act requires each relevant authority to establish, maintain and make available a register of land which it owns or leases.

Read the East Renfrewshire Council Property Asset Register (to the best of our knowledge and belief) (Excel doc) [58KB]

Some assets must stay under council ownership to support the delivery of essential services or economic activity in an area. Other assets may have restrictive title conditions attached which would restrict their use to a defined purpose or prevent a transfer. For example, the building can only be used for sports and leisure purposes

Stage 1 :  An Expression of Interest

If your community group is interested in exploring an asset transfer for a Council property there are some criteria that you must meet:

  • you must be a constituted community group (at the least)
  • you'll need a reasonable well established sustainable business plan including financial information.
  • you must be able to demonstrate the community benefit including social, economic, health and environmental, and support from the local people of a community asset transfer.

If you believe your group meets the above, then in the first instance we ask you to

Complete an expression of interest form (PDF) [627KB]

(If you download the form and open it again on the screen (if you have Acrobat downloaded) you should be able to fill in the form using fill and sign located, on the right hand side of the page).

to help you determine whether or not your group is ready to go through the CAT process.

Your group must also;-

Complete our Community Asset Transfer Toolkit (Word doc) [58KB]


study our CAT Policy  (PDF) [914KB]

The toolkit may not be accessible to all, so if you require a printed version please contact for a printed version.

Upon submitting an expression of interest form we'll gather and share relevant information to help your group consider the options available. 

Stage 2:  Making an Application

If your group still wishes to proceed with the asset transfer you'll need to prepare a robust business plan including financial information for the property and ;-

submit a Community Asset Transfer application form (Word doc) [71KB]

Considering requests

The Council will consider all requests for asset transfer on the potential benefits for your community using the Community Asset Transfer matrix.  A copy of the matrix can be found on our policy document. 

We consider a range of factors:

  • the reasons for the request
  • eligibility of the community transfer body
  • supporting information including business plan
  • whether agreeing the request would be likely to promote or improve economic development, regeneration, public health, social wellbeing or environmental wellbeing
  • whether agreeing the request would be likely to reduce inequalities
  • any other benefits
  • support for the transfer from the local people
  • the benefits of any alternative proposal
  • other matters we consider appropriate

Approval or refusal

There is a presumption of approval, unless there are reasonable grounds for refusal of the request. The Act and associated guidance does not specify what reasonable grounds for refusal would be. These would depend on the circumstances of each individual case. 

Community asset transfer support

Read more information on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 on the Scottish Government website (opens new window)

The Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS) (opens new window) run a service called Community Ownership Support Service.  They are funded directly from the Scottish Government and offer support to help community-based groups in Scotland to take on land or building assets for their community.

Community Woodlands Association promotes community woodlands. The association provides advice and assistance to community woodland groups.

Community Energy Scotland provides advice to communities on green energy and energy conservation.

Annual returns

Download the Annual Return 2020/2021 (PDF) [424KB] (opens new window) .

Download the Community Asset Transfer Annual Report 2021/2022 (PDF) [305KB] .

Community Asset Transfer cases

Each public sector body must publish and maintain a list of their assets both leased and owned. 

They must also publish details of

  • requests received in relation to an asset
  • details of representations for or against the request
  • decisions in relation to requests alongside supporting evidence

Below is some information on the Barrhead Men's Shed application:

Contact details

For more details on Community Asset Transfer please email

Last modified on 13 July 2023