Southampton City Council’s Community Asset Transfer (CAT) Policy was approved by the council’s Cabinet on 17 April 2018.
The aim of CAT is to enable council owned assets (buildings or land) to be transferred to a voluntary, community or faith organisation for community use, to achieve a local social, economic or environmental benefit. Transfers are either through a long lease of between 25 and 125 years or freehold sale, at less than market value.
Prior to the current policy the council had a Community Asset Transfer Strategy which provided the framework for a proactive programme of community asset transfers.
Who can apply
Community, voluntary or faith organisations who can demonstrate that they are or will be:
- Properly constituted with strong and open governance arrangements
- In a position to hold property
- Able to manage the asset efficiently, including finances, health and safety and other operational issues
- Non-profit making and exist for community/ social/environmental/ economic benefit, whilst recognising that they may have a business element to how they operate, such as a community café. However, this type of business and financial gain will not be the main driver and will not distribute any financial surplus to owners or members but applied to serving core community aims and objectives
- Open to and demonstrate an inclusive approach to members of the wider community.
- If you are a new group forming for the purposes of CAT or are collaborating on a bid then you will still need to ensure that you are properly constituted with strong and open governance arrangements
Who can’t apply
- Organisations that operate solely for commercial, political or religious activities
How to apply
There are two ways to apply for CAT.
If your organisation is interested in undertaking a CAT on a council-owned asset you will first need to check you are eligible to apply (see above). If you are eligible you then need to submit a Speculative Enquiry form.
Or the council will advertise an asset and invite CAT applications.
For more details see our CAT flowchart.