Support for Asset Transfers

SCOTTISH Borders Council has approved a process, procedures and guidance to support community organisations committed to taking on and managing their own assets.

Community Asset Transfer is an innovative process which results in communities taking on and managing their own assets – usually buildings and land.

The process is built on a partnership between the council and groups where SBC agrees to the transfer of these assets from their management into local community management. There have already been a number of takers for the scheme in Berwickshire with Birgham and St Abbs village halls both being purchased by their respective communities for just £1.

Councillor Graham Garvie, Executive Member for Culture, Sport and Community Learning, said: “We believe that Community Asset Transfer can both empower local communities and also safeguard cherished buildings and facilities at a time when there is severe pressure on Council budgets and diminishing opportunities to invest in growing services.”

A cross-departmental Asset Transfer Team has been put together to respond to the approaches from groups interested in taking on the management of their local community facility. The Team can provide the specialist skills and knowledge to assist local community organisations through the asset transfer process.

Councillor Michael Cook, Executive Member for Corporate Improvement, added: “In the case of St Abbs, transfer of the Old School to the community on a long lease has seen a LEADER supported programme of some total investment of £277,000 to transform this building into a vibrant community centre. It is a measure of what is possible, and we are keen to support our communities in moving forward with similar projects.”