Asset Transfer

What it is and what is involved

Asset Transfer describes the process of the transfer of an ownership interest (Freehold/leaseholds) of property or land from one party to another. It is called transfer rather than buying or selling an asset because it has become increasingly associated with transfer of the ownership of a land or building asset from a public body (most often local government) to a community organization or enterprise at a discounted price or as part of a strategy to provide local services.

 Asset Transfer Policies

Many local authorities in the UK have developed “Community Asset Transfer” policies which set out the basis on which they will transfer assets to a community based organisation. Councils in Wales have also transferred assets and the national agenda for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of use of public assets is likely to see the introduction of more relevant policy in this area.

In addition locally based organisations can also campaign and lobby for such policies where they have an interest in the future of public assets. To find an example strategy click here and to find guidance on developing a policy with a local authority click here.

These policies generally set out:

  • The basis on which they will identify assets for potential transfer and how they relate to other policies and strategies of the authority.
  • What kinds of organisations are considered eligible for asset transfer and how opportunities will be advertised to those with a likely interest.
  • The criteria that will be used to assess any business case made by an organisation who wishes to benefit from an asset transfer.
  • Any restrictions which an authority is likely to put on the use of the asset into the future.

There are a considerable number of authorities in England who have adopted such policies. Click here for a list of them. These policies can be used as a basis for discussion between councils and community based organisations and enterprises for agreeing the basis on which asset transfer may happen in their area ofWales.