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Asset transfer request

Communities can request the transfer of assets from a public body where they feel they could use the assets better.

Securing more community ownership of land and other assets such as buildings is one of the Scottish Government’s top priorities.

Asset transfer has been supported for some years now. For example, Scottish Natural Heritage transferred some land to the Isle of Rum Community Trust in 2010.

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 takes asset transfer to a new level, by enabling ‘asset transfer requests’. A community body may request the transfer of land or buildings from a public body where it feels it could make better use of the assets.

Benefits of community ownership

Community ownership is usually a means to an end. For example, it can be used to secure the long-term sustainability of a community through either:

  • stronger local economic development
  • the building of capacity and resilience
  • income generation

In turn, this enables community groups to develop new initiatives and support other developing groups.

How to submit a request to us

The Scottish Government has issued guidance for community bodies and public bodies, and we advise you to consult this for full details of what the asset transfer process involves.

You can see what property SNH owns and leases by looking at our Property Register.

To discuss the possible transfer of an asset that we hold, contact the relevant Scottish Natural Heritage area office.

Our local staff can give you all of the information you may need to put together an asset transfer request. We can also tell you how we've engaged with communities in your area already.

A request must be made in writing, and must include the information set out in the Act (see section 8 of the Scottish Government's guidance for Community Transfer Bodies). You can use this form to ensure that you do not miss anything, although we will accept requests made by other means. Please send applications to Scottish Natural Heritage, Great Glen House, Leachkin Road, Inverness, IV3 8NW or email us at communities@nature.scot.

Find out more

SNH Asset Transfer Requests Annual Report 2017-18