Community asset transfer

Community Asset Transfer relates primarily to long leasehold or freehold arrangements between Scarborough Borough Council and a voluntary or community organisation, or parish or town council.

Which buildings or land are available for transfer?

Most assets (buildings or land) that are in the ownership of the Council would be considered except:

  • Where the asset forms part of a wider redevelopment scheme.
  • Assets where the location or specific features of the asset are required as part of the efficient and effective delivery of services.
  • Assets where there is already a lease agreement in place and where notice has not been received from the current leaseholder that they wish to terminate their lease. This includes where the potential applicant already has a lease agreement in place unless there are exceptional circumstances and significant and additional community benefit can be evidenced.

When considering the suitability of an asset for transfer, the Council will consider financial and other implications.

For any transfer, the Council will require a proposal outlining the business case, including financial viability and benefits to the community.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in a specific asset you will first need to submit an expression of interest form

If the asset is considered suitable for transfer and your initial proposals look viable, you will be asked to prepare a full business plan.

Completed asset transfers

Dean Road Cemetery Chapel

On 2 March 2016 the Council approved the freehold transfer of Dean Road Cemetery Chapel to Dean Road Chapel Ltd. This is subject to Dean Road Chapel Ltd securing grant funding for the refurbishment of the building and subject to the necessary planning and other permissions being obtained. Once completed the Freehold Transfer will include a restrictive covenant to ensure that the asset continues to be accessible to the public and provides benefits to the wider community.

More information - CAT - Dean Road Cemetery Chapel

Raincliffe Woods

On 20th December 2015 the Council agreed the transfer of Raincliffe Woods to Raincliffe Woods Community Enterprise (RWCE)

Further information about RWCE can be found at http://www.communitywood.co.uk

46 Cross Street (The Base)

This was transferred to Castle Community Network in September 2014 for the delivery of a range of community activities, support and services. This enabled the group to consolidate their activity onto one site and to relinquish the premises in the market vaults and Market Way that were previously leased. 

Amenity Seating (Newby & Scalby Parish Council)

On 29th November 2012, the Council agreed to a freehold transfer of all seats within the Parish, except for memorial seats.

7 Market Way (The Base)

This was  transferred temporarily to CCN. The asset has since returned to general letting, following CCN securing 46 Cross Street (a more suitable premise for their needs).

Londesborough Lodge

Londesborough Lodge in Scarborough was marketed for both commercial purchase/lease of the building as well as proposals for community use through the Community Asset Transfer scheme.

Three Expressions of Interest were received for Londesborough Lodge. In June 2013, the Council agreed to lease the property to the Rokpa Trust, as a Community Asset Transfer.

Assets that are currently being considered for asset transfer

Where more than one group is interested in a particular asset, we encourage groups to work together. However, if this is not possible all competing bids will be assessed by the Council.

Details of applications which have been received by the council are shown below.

    Assets not considered suitable for asset transfer

    The Council has considered applications in relation to the following assets which are not considered suitable for transfer:

    • Open space to the rear of Danes Dyke, Newby
    • Council Offices on Skinner Street, Whitby.
    • Scalby Manor Field
    • Football pitches on Olivers Mount (near the memorial)
    • Old Town hall and public clock and associated market, church Street, Whitby

    Applications received but not proceeding

    • Former Changing Rooms and Gallows Field (group no longer functioning)
    • Falsgrave Community Resource Centre
    • CAT - Evron Centre, Filey

    Sources of help and support

    If you are interested in Community Asset Transfer, there are a number of organisations that may be able to provide you with advice and support.

    The Council’s Sustainable Communities Team may be able to provide some support for your group, particularly if you are a developing group, operating in an area of disadvantage.

    For an informal discussion about your support requirements please contact:

    Jo Ireland
    Customers, Communities and Partnerships Manager
    Email: jo.ireland@scarborough.gov.uk
    Tel: 01723 384315

    Local and national organisations with expertise in this area include:

    Coast and Vale Community Action

    Coast and Vale Community Action has come about through a merger of Seachange Community Trust and Ryedale Voluntary Action.

    Coast and Vale Community Action website

    Locality

    Locality delivers the Asset Transfer Unit and is a well established provider of advice, guidance and support concerning the transfer of building and land from the public sector to community ownership and management.

    Locality website

    My Community Rights

    A source of information and support for organisations interested in asset transfer and/or Community Right To Bid. Includes information about grants available for undertaking feasibility/pre feasibility type activity.

    My Community Rights website

    Sport England - Community Sport Asset Transfer Toolkit

    The Community Sport Asset Transfer Toolkit is a bespoke, interactive web based tool that provides a step by step guide through each stage of the asset transfer process.

    The Toolkit has been developed specifically for sports clubs, recognising that Asset transfer can often be a daunting task for a sports club to undertake, especially those run mainly by volunteers.

    Developed in partnership with Locality the toolkit aims to make the process as accessible as possible by providing step by step information, resources and case studies.

    Sport England website

    FAQ

    Who will the council transfer assets to?

    We will consider asset transfer to any voluntary, community or non profit distributing organisation and town or parish councils. Any organisation seeking an asset transfer will be asked to demonstrate they meet the criteria below:

    • Be able to demonstrate strong governance arrangements by operating through open and accountable, co-operative processes, with strong performance and financial management systems.
    • Demonstrate it has the skills and capacity within the organisation, or available to the organisation, to effectively deliver the services specified and manage the asset.
    • Have a clear purpose and understanding of the activities it wishes to deliver and demonstrate how the asset transfer will enable and support these activities.
    • Demonstrate clear, realistic financial plans for the management and development of the asset and the delivery of any services and activities proposed.
    • Demonstrate community support for the proposals.
    • Be clear about how the organisation will comply with any relevant legislation and any statutory requirements arising from the transfer of the asset.

    In addition voluntary, community and not for profit organisations will need to:

    Be a legal entity, or be part of a legally constituted consortia agreement.

    Be appropriately constituted (examples might include. a registered charity, community interest company or charitable incorporated organisation, not for profit company or industrial and provident societies for the benefit of the community.)

    Have stated community benefit objectives.

    Be non profit distributing – any surpluses must be reinvested to further its social aims/community benefits.

    How will my application be assessed?

    Where an asset is not directly marketed by the Borough Council as available for transfer, upon receipt of an expression of interest, an initial assessment will be made by the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) Panel  about the suitability of the Asset for transfer, within 4 weeks of receipt.

    If the asset is considered suitable for possible transfer then the expression of interest will be considered. If the Expression of interest is considered viable then the applicant will be invited to submit a full business case.

    Following the initial assessment of the CAT Panel, this website will be updated within 2 weeks, with details of the asset and the expression of interest received. The website will advise that further expressions of interest will be accepted and a deadline provided for submission of these. The deadline will generally be a minimum of  8 weeks, however, this will be determined by the CAT Panel depending on the asset/individual circumstances.

    The Community Asset Transfer (CAT) Panel will undertake a thorough assessment of each business case received. This will include:

    • Assessing the merits of the case
    • Considering any financial or other implications for the council.
    • An initial consideration of lease terms, market discount.

    The applicant will be notified of the outcome of the assessment in writing and whether the panel are recommending acceptance of the transfer. If the applicant disagrees with the recommendation they have 10 working days (stand down period) during which they can make any additional representations/challenges prior to a formal decision being made.

    Recommendations from the panel, including any representations received during the stand down period will then be referred to the Councils Cabinet in most cases. Where the value is between £25, 000 and £49, 999 decisions will be referred to the individual cabinet member and below £25,000 to the head of Finance and Asset Management.

    In most cases there will be an initial “in principle” decision and then a “detailed development stage, during which further work can be undertaken which might include submission of planning applications, confirmation of funding, feasibility studies etc. Following completion of these there will then be a final decision made on transfer, again this will usually be made by the Council’s Cabinet, unless the value is below £50000.

    For very straightforward transfers, it may be possible to proceed straight to final decision, this will depend on the circumstances and complexity of the transfer.

    Details of the transfer arrangements will be arrived at through individual negotiation. The decision to transfer an asset will not be considered as setting a precedent.

    What information about the asset will the council provide?

    If you have completed an expression of interest you can request information, relevant to your application, this might include:

    • The condition of the asset
    • Maintenance costs
    • Plans of the land/building
    • Income streams

    We will provide you with any relevant information we have within 4 weeks.

    What type of lease might I be offered?

    Asset transfers will generally be by means of a long term lease. This is likely to be between 25-99 years, although longer leases may be considered. The terms of the lease will be agreed at the time of each individual transfer.

    Freehold transfer will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, where a strong case can be made that freehold is necessary for success and provides reassurance that community benefit will be maintained in the long term.

    Who pays the legal and other costs?

    In general you will be responsible for funding the costs of any legal or other costs associated with your application. We do advise applicants to instruct their own solicitor to advise regarding lease/sale terms and you will be responsible for the costs of this. You may also be required to make a (usually small) contribution towards the council’s legal costs, although the level of contribution does depend on the asset.

    How long does a transfer take?

    Precise timescales will depend on many factors and each case will be different. However, the Council will ensure that there are no unnecessary delays and that all applicants receive clear feedback at each stage of their application.

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