This page will help you prepare for your Community Asset Transfer (CAT) application.

The asset

If you are interested in a building

  • Is the building in council ownership? If you don’t know please complete a speculative enquiry form. The council cannot undertake a CAT on land it does not own.
  • Does it need any work to bring it up to standard? If so how will you fund this?
  • You will need to create a summary of your ideas of what you will use the building for to submit to the council
  • If you want to extend, you may need planning permission, what impact could it have on neighbours and existing users?

If you are interested in a piece of land

  • Is the land in council ownership? If you don’t know please complete a speculative enquiry form. The council cannot undertake a CAT on land it does not own
  • What do you want to do with it, will you need planning permission? What impact could it have on neighbours and existing users?
  • You will need to create a summary of your ideas of what you will use the land for to submit to the council

What information do you need to know about this asset?

  • Has the council got any information they can give you?
  • Who in your organisation is going to review this information?
  • It is important that you consider whether you are able to meet some of the costs that may be associated with a transfer.
    These may include:
    • Surveyors fees
    • Feasibility study fees
    • Architects fees
    • Legal fees
    • Consultancy fees
    • Planning fees
    • What is your ideal type of transfer, freehold or leasehold?

Why are you interested in the asset and what are your plans?

Consider the reasons you are interested in this land/building as you need to explain to the council and demonstrate in your application how you will achieve the following outcomes:

  • Community empowerment and benefits to the local or wider community
  • Capacity building through the use of local skills, experience, knowledge and time
  • Retaining and improving local provision
  • Delivering local services that meet local needs through community led and community controlled assets
  • Extending the use of a building or land to do things in a different way, being as creative and innovative as  you can
  • Delivering value for money including the ability to draw attract other sources of  funding not available to the council
  • Social enterprise and social well being, including community cohesion
  • Financial viability, long term sustainability and external investment
  • Working with partners to deliver the above

Your capacity to run the asset

Has your organisation got the capacity to run the asset? Some of the things you need to think about are:

  • Health and safety, including risk assessments, repairs and maintenance
  • Maintaining and developing use
  • Insurances
  • Lettings/ bookings procedures
  • Recruiting and managing staff and volunteers
  • Complaints procedures
  • User involvement

Repairs and Health and Safety

There are statutory health and safety tests that will be required in the building your trustees/ directors will be responsible for making sure these tests are done, they are a legal requirement.

These tests need to be carried out by a qualified person and will cost your organisation money, so you will need to plan for this in your budget.

You will need to nominate someone to undertake, and keep records of, various general health and safety assessments e.g. fire alarm testing and checking fire extinguishers. These tests are not a legal requirement but are classed as best practice.

You will need to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment on the building and review it every year.

How are you going plan and undertake repairs and maintenance? Consider trying to get a contract in place for the year with a local company to do all your repairs including a ‘call out’ option in case of emergencies. Also have you considered making contact with groups in other buildings to approach trades collectively to save money?

Ensure reference is made to Health & Safety in your hiring agreement so hirers know their responsibilities when using the building.

Insurance and licences

You will need to have insurance. The types of insurance you need will vary depending on your organisation but could include:

  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Lift insurance
  • Employers liability, only if you employ people
  • Trustees liability
  • Building and contents insurance
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Any other insurance for specific activities for example if you hold a special event

Does your organisation play or intend to play live or recorded music?
Do you sell or want to sell alcohol? Play bingo? Or put on theatrical plays?

If ‘Yes’, then you are likely to need relevant licences.