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Some commonly used terms used when talking about Community Asset Transfer (CAT).


An item of property in ownership, guardianship or lease. In terms of asset management, relates to land and buildings.

Asset of Community Value

Land or buildings recognised as such by designation by the local authority under theCommunity Right to Bid.

Power to dispose of assets

Public bodies have the necessary powers to dispose of land and buildings that they own. Normally this is for the best price obtainable. However, under the General Disposal Content (England) 2003, local authorities can dispose at less than best price where the transfer furthers local social, economic or environmental wellbeing.

Community asset transfer

This a change in the management and/or ownership arrangements of land or buildings, from a public body, (most commonly a local authority), to communities, (community and voluntary sector groups, community enterprises, social enterprises, etc). Terms are usually a long (25+ years) below market value lease, but occasionally freehold sales are undertaken.

Community assets, not liabilities

Community assets can help local organisations to develop a thriving and diverse civil society and promote long-term economic resilience in their neighbourhood. However, land and buildings are only assets if their use is capable of generating an income in addition to their on-going running costs.

Development Trust

A community-led and -run organisation, concerned with the economic, environmental and social regeneration of a defined geographical area.

Green space

Land that is partly or wholly a natural environment, e.g. grass, trees, shrubs, or other vegetation. Typically, green assets include fields, parks, woodlands, gardens, orchards, allotments and cemeteries.

Heritage asset

A building, monument, site, place, area or landscape positively identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions. Heritage assets are the valued components of the historic environment. They include designated heritage assets (as defined in the National Planning Policy Framework), and assets identified by the local planning authority during the process of decision-making or through the plan-making process (including local listing).


Routine work, both reactive and cyclical, necessary to keep the fabric of an asset in appropriate condition.

Multiple asset ransfer

For the purposes of the COMA programme, we consider a multiple asset transfer proposal to include more than one site. From practioneer experience there are different types of multiple asset transfers, typically:

  • Place-based: looking at the transfer of a mixed portfolio of assets in a particular local authority or smaller geographic area to underpin new community enterprises;
  • Service-led: exploring transfer options related to specific types of service e.g. libraries. This element has strong links to service redesign and modernisation; or
  • Asset type: identifying multiple transfer options for specific types of asset e.g. community centres or sports facilities.

Single complex/ground-breaking asset transfer

These must be capable of producing novel and replicable learning for other places. The sorts of projects that this might apply to are suggested as follows, (this is not an exhaustive list, and is provided for illustration purposes only):

  • Heritage, ‘unusual’ or non-traditional asset types;
  • Assets stuck in difficult/complex ownership situations;
  • Projects of a scale and scope that offer the potential of significant/long-term impact;
  • Leveraging additional funding and/or furthering local regeneration efforts;
  • The potential to align public body stakeholder interests and create efficiencies/more effective outcomes.

Special Purpose Vehicle

A legal entity (such as a charitable trust, not-for-profit or limited liability company, mutual society, cooperative, venture company or trust) created to fulfil narrow, specific or temporary objectives.

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