Many communities in Wiltshire are keen to secure the future of much loved local facilities such as pubs and village halls and would like to see the best possible use of other assets such as high street shops and derelict land.
Community asset ownership can be one way of channelling the resourcefulness of local groups to take over and transform properties for the benefit of the whole community.
Wiltshire Council is keen to support community ownership of assets and is bringing together local voluntary and community groups, local businesses and other private landowners to build a constructive partnership to support an increase in the number of community assets. In addition to this:
- Wiltshire Council’s Community Area Strategies (part of the Core Strategy) capture some of the current and future infrastructure requirements in each community area and Neighbourhood Plans provide an opportunity to consider this in more detail. The council will work with communities to build a shared understanding of the community’s needs, ambitions and capacities to see how these can be met in future.
- Wiltshire Council’s Area Boards are overseeing the work of the shadow Community Operation Boards, which bring together public sector partners and will set out the intentions for publicly owned buildings in each community area. This allows community ownership to be considered as part of the process. The community is the real owner of public buildings with Wiltshire Council (or other public sector owners) acting as a steward for the property to ensure it continues to benefit the community.
- Wiltshire’s Area Boards will consider applications for grants to explore the feasibility of the development of Community Assets where this meets identified community needs.
In addition to direct support from the council, Wiltshire Community Land Trust (Wiltshire CLT) has been set up to help community groups take on the ownership and management of assets, such as affordable housing, workspace, land for growing food and for recreation, wildlife reserves, pubs, shops and a range of community facilities and local services. Wiltshire CLT works with Community First and national organisations such as the national CLT network and Locality to ensure that community groups get the right support and advice.
Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire CLT have produced a community ownership of assets toolkit setting out the various tools available for increasing community ownership of assets.
Last updated: 9 January 2015