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Local places such as pub, shop or community centre closing?

Community Right to Bid

Worried about local places that you love, like the pub, shop or community centre closing?

The Community Right to Bid helps to protect locally important community assets. You and your neighbours can nominate any local building or land you love and then, if it comes up for sale, you have six months to raise the funds to buy it. People have used this right to list shops, libraries, football stadiums, community centres and land like parks or riversides.

Here's how

Step 1: get together with your neighbours

Nominating a community asset needs the support of 21 people on the local electoral register. However other groups such as Parish Councils can also make nominations.

Step 2: list your asset

Many councils now have a form on their website for nominating assets. Over 90% of all nominations are accepted for listing.

Step 3: if the asset comes up for sale, the group who nominated the asset will be informed

There will be a six month period where your community has the opportunity to decide whether to bid for it and raise the money. To trigger this six month pause in the sale you'll need to become an incorporated group. You can of course involve far more people than the original group who nominated the asset. If the building or land is currently publicly owned, talk to your local authority about whether they will accept an offer beneath the market value: this is known as a community asset transfer.

Step 4: raise the money to buy your asset

There are a variety of ways to do this, for ideas see the my community rights grants.

If your offer is accepted, the asset is now owned and run by the community.

Community experiences:

  • The Ivy House Pub in Nunhead, South London, is a well loved pub in where people like Elvis Costello and Joe Strummer have played. Residents of Nunhead found out it was going to be sold for redevelopment. A group got together to list the pub and then had six months to raise the money to buy it. They received a loan from the Architectural Heritage Fund, a government grant, and almost 400 people bought shares in the pub. It has just reopened as a co-operative pub, with music and comedy nights, real ale and food. www.ivyhousenunhead.com

    Ivy House, Tessa Blunden: "If you care about an asset in your community then consider nominating it for listing through Community Right to Bid. We were very pleased with the support we received throughout the process and the listing bought us enough time to put together a bid to save our pub."

  • CAMRA "CAMRA is delighted that the Government has recognised the vital importance of pubs and empowered communities to protect them. By listing their local, communities are ensuring that if the pub is under threat in the future, there is a much-needed extra layer of protection which 'stops the clock' should it be put up for sale. CAMRA's 'List Your Local' campaign is aiming to get 300 pubs listed as community assets. We're now a third of the way there and we encourage communities to make the most of these new powers to help us achieve that goal."

  • Supporters Direct, Tom Hall, Head of England: The Community Right to Bid recognises the importance of a football stadium, not only to the club itself but also to the fans and the community in general. The stadium is both symbolic and an asset used to provide social value to the communities it interacts. The listing of stadia as Assets of Community Value recognises this vital role clubs and their stadium play and that football clubs are not a normal business but have a clear social purpose that requires protection. Supporters Direct will continue to encourage its members to request their club's stadium are listed under this community right.

To find out what's happening in South Lakeland visit the Community Right to Bid.

Community Asset Transfer

Local authorities are empowered to transfer the ownership of land and buildings to communities for less than their market value. This is known as ‘discounted asset transfer; or ‘asset transfer’. This shift in ownership of land and buildings from public bodies to communities is Localism in action, giving greater powers to:

  • community and voluntary sector organisations

  • community and social enterprises

  • individuals looking to form a not-for-private-profit group to benefit their neighbourhood.

Community asset transfer can help deliver a variety of benefits but, in short, it is a key way in which local authorities can support the development of a strong and vibrant civil society through improvements to an organisation’s sustainability.

Read the guide to Community Asset Transfer - Guidance Pack (PDF/162KB/4 pages) to get started. 

Community Experience

In South Lakeland communities have taken over a number of assets from the Council including car parks, public toilets and recreation facilities. The experience of Lakes Parish asset transfer has been documented in the Lakes Parish case study by Action with Communities in Cumbria (PDF/870KB/2 pages).