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For organisations which are considering bidding to buy an asset of community value. This is the point at which you develop your plans, assess the building and develop a business model. This resource helps you to write your business plan and seek the necessary investment.

Project development

The key elements of project development are:

  • project objectives – what do you want to achieve?
  • site – all the property issues
  • people – your organisation, who will do the work, who will support the project
  • finance – having sufficient finance in place to make a bid

The right to bid is a ‘pre-emptive right’, so you should keep in mind that you will be working to a tight timescale if you opt to trigger the moratorium or ‘stop the clock’ and deploy the right to bid in earnest (see: Step 5). If at all possible, plan to have everything in place well in advance of being notified of an owner’s intention to sell an asset of community value.

Project objectives

Although these guidance notes relate to property, the community value is always realised in the ways that land and buildings are actually used. As such, the project objectives – what you want to achieve through acquiring an asset of community value – are crucial. For more detailed information about setting project objectives and the work involved in a property projects, see: To Have and To Hold (2009).


You will need capacity within your organisation to acquire and manage an asset – this might include volunteers or paid staff. Be realistic about the amount of work this is likely to entail, and assess whether you have enough people with sufficient time and skills to progress the project and achieve your over-arching objectives. If you are not already a constituted organisation, you will need to set up your organisation in order to trigger the moratorium and proceed to solicit funds, bid for and take ownership of an asset. How it is constituted – for example as a charitable company, community interest company or industrial and provident society – will ultimately depend upon your aims and plans for the asset.

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