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. 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 an application

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. 

To help support our groups with a community asset transfer request, we strongly advise you contact us prior to submitting any application.  

There are some criteria that you must meet:

  • you must be a constituted community group
  • you will 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.

Download the application form (Word doc) [71KB] (opens new window) .

Deciding requests

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. 

Asset toolkit and list

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] (opens new window) .

We are developing a user friendly set of web tools to help you with the community asset transfer process. 

Community asset transfer support

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

The Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS) 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

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 1 July 2022