Help us improve our website and you could win an English Heritage membership Complete the survey to win! Dismiss

Take Ownership

All over the country, community-based organisations are taking on responsibility for managing assets that were formerly owned by local authorities. By doing so, they can help to focus the energies of local communities and prevent these assets, which are often local landmarks, from falling into decay or inappropriate use.

External view of the outdoor ice rink at Oxford Castle

Oxford Castle. A successful partnership between the Oxford Preservation Trust, the City Council and The Trevor Osborne Group resulted in the creation of this new cultural quarter for Oxford.
© Oxford Preservation Trust: Charlotte Wood

Community ownership can help to secure a local service or amenity (such as a community hall or a public open space), at a time when local authorities are looking to make economies. Local authorities can sell an asset at less than full market value where this would support a use that brings social, economic or environmental benefits for the area.  Of course, such transfers are not without their challenges. Community groups may need support and advice to help them make a success of their project, and to ensure that it remains viable through changing circumstances.

New Guidance

English Heritage, along with the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Trust, the Architectural Heritage Fund, the Prince's Regeneration Trust and the Development Trust Association's Asset Transfer Unit have come together to commission new guidance, which is available as a download from the right-hand side of this page. 

This guidance outlines the process for asset transfers, both from a local authority and community perspective. It is accompanied by a number of case studies showing what can be achieved. These can be accessed from the menu on the left-hand side of this page. A summary version of this guidance is also available.

If you have any queries about the guidance or the case studies (including any suggestions for additional examples) please contact us at: gheu@english-heritage.org.uk.

RELATED PUBLICATIONS