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Community empowerment: transfer of publicly held assets

20 Jan 2017

New laws about publicly owned assets come into force from 23 January 2017. From this date a properly constituted community group has the right to apply to a public body to request a transfer of any land or buildings that it owns. This right comes from part 5 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.

The public body should have a list of its assets available for the public to see. A public body means your local authority or the Scottish Court Service or even the Scottish Ministers.

A community body would need to be able to operate legally before it could apply for the transfer of any assets. A clear business plan would need to form part of the application.

Anyone interested in more information about this should contact the Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) on 0131 225 2080 or visit their website at There are lots of examples of successful community ventures on the website. There is also a very useful Asset Transfer Route Map which explains the details and steps in getting involved in a project of this type.

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