Asset transfer

The to do list

How to find out what we own or lease

We have published a list of the land and buildings that Scottish Borders Council owns or leases on our website. This is called our asset register. To make our asset register easier to use we have split it into five areas, these are Berwickshire, Cheviot, Eildon (Central Borders), Teviot & Liddesdale and Tweeddale.

Things to do before submitting an asset transfer request

The first step is to contact us about the asset you are interested in. We will discuss what is involved with taking it on and things that you need to be aware.

We will also talk about your plans for the how the asset will be used and how you plan to generate income to cover running costs.

Before agreeing to sell or lease an asset we will ask that you develop a business plan. This should typically cover a five-year operating period. We will also ask you to demonstrate that the community is supportive of your plans to take the building on.

You should also consider the legal structure of your organisation. Depending on the governing documents that your committee has in place you may need to set up as a different type of organisation and this can take time. The governing documents set out the formal rules for how your board will manage the organisation and make decisions. There is a lot of information about different types of organisations. You will need to consider what the purpose of your organisation is to help identify which one is best for you.

A group can request to buy land or buildings if it is:

  • a company limited by guarantee,
  • a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation),
  • a Community Benefit Society with at least 20 members.

A group can request to lease land or buildings if:

  • it has a written constitution,
  • it is open to anyone in the community it covers to join,
  • it is community led,
  • the majority of its members are from the community it covers,
  • it is for the benefit of the community, and 
  • it uses any surplus funds/assets for the benefit of the community.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Service (SCVO) has developed a handbook for village and community halls, which may be useful for your project.  It sets out several structures which you may wish to consider, including:

  • Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO)
  • Company Limited by Guarantee
  • Voluntary Association
  • Trust

Staff at Borders Community Action (BCA) can help you to identify the type of organisational structure that best suits what you want to do.  More information about BCA is available in the Support and further information section (hyperlink).

Things that you will need to include in an asset transfer request

Although you don’t need to use it, we provide an application form to help make sure that all the required information is included with a request.

An asset transfer request must be made in writing and must:

  • state that it is an asset transfer request made under Part 5 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015
  • contain the name and contact address of the community body
  • be accompanied by a copy of the constitution of the community body
  • if the request is made by a body which is not a community controlled body, explain the basis on which the body is a community transfer body;
  • specify the land to which the request relates
  • specify whether the request is for ownership, lease or other rights in the land
  • if the request is for ownership, specify the price that the community transfer body would be prepared to pay for the transfer of ownership of the land
  • if the request is for lease, specify:
    • the amount of rent that the community transfer body would be prepared to pay
    • the duration of the lease, and
    • any other terms and conditions that the community transfer body considers should be included in any lease 
  • if the request is for other rights, specify the nature and extent of the rights sought
  • specify any other terms or conditions applicable to the request
  • specify the reasons for making the request
  • describe how the community transfer body proposes that the land is to be used
  • specify the benefits which the community transfer body considers will arise if the authority were to agree to the request
  • outline how it is proposed that:
    • the transfer of ownership of the land, the lease of the land or the conferral of other rights in respect of the land on the community transfer body (as the case may be); and
    • the proposed use of the land and how it will be funded 
  • describe the level and nature of support for the request from the community to which the community transfer body relates

More information about what must be included in an asset transfer request is available in the guidance produced by the Scottish Government.