Requirements of Community Transfer Bodies
In order to make use of the Community Asset Transfer legislation, it is important for any community based organisation to check that it meets the criteria to be considered a relevant ‘Community Transfer Body’ in terms of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 (the “2015 Act”).
A Community Transfer Body means either a
- Community-controlled body, or
- A body that is either
- designated as a community transfer body by the Scottish Ministers, or
- falls within a class of bodies designated as community transfer bodies by the Scottish Ministers for the purposes of the 2015 Act.
We will focus on the definition of a community-controlled body as most organisations seeking a Community Asset Transfer (“CAT”) are likely to fall within this category. A community-controlled body is defined within the 2015 Act as a body having a written constitution that includes the following;
- a definition of the community to which the body relates,
- provision that the majority of the members of the body is to consist of members of that community,
- provision that the members of the body who consist of members of that community have control of the body,
- provision that membership of the body is open to any member of that community,
- a statement of the body’s aims and purposes, including the promotion of a benefit for that community, and
- provision that any surplus funds or assets of the body are to be applied for the benefit of that community.
A community can be any group of people who have something in common, such a geographical location or interest. Whilst there may appear to be a lot of requirements to be classified as a community-controlled body, and as such eligible to be a community transfer body, many local organisations will already have constitutions which comply with one or more of the above requirements.
Whilst an organisation does not need to be an incorporated body or charity to use the CAT process, if the body is looking to take ownership of property (rather than a lease or other right), the organisation must be a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation) or a Community Benefit Company or Community Benefit Society.
If an organisation does not meet the necessary requirement, it will need to amend its constitution, or consider setting up a separate body specifically to deal with the CAT. Alternatively, the organisation could request that the Scottish Ministers designate the organisation as a community transfer body for the purpose of the 2015 Act.
Our Charities team can assist with ensuring that your constitution meets the requirements for a CAT.
There is a lot to consider as an organisation looking to pursue a CAT, due to the unique and sometimes restrictive nature of the CAT process. To view all considerations please click here.
How we can help
We have specific expertise in community asset transfers and the challenges they present. Along with comprehensive track record of helping community based organisations, charities and other third sector organisations