Renfrewshire Council

Applications for this fund closed in July 2023. You can find out and apply for the Sustainable Communities Fund instead.

Community Empowerment Fund

What community empowerment is, what an asset is, what a community asset transfer is, what ideas we were looking for, who could apply for the fund, how much you could apply for.

What community empowerment is

We are committed to promoting and supporting the principles of community empowerment and encouraging interest in community asset transfer. 

Community groups have an important role in planning and delivering services that meet local needs, developing innovative and flexible activities valued by local people and building community pride and cohesion.

There is also increasing interest among community groups in becoming owners or custodians of publicly owned buildings and land through community asset transfer. 

This makes sure we get as much productive use as possible from the assets in our communities, harnessing the ideas and capabilities of local people. 

We committed £1.5 million to a Community Empowerment Fund for community groups to develop their ideas for asset transfer, with the funding split as £1 million capital funding and £500,000 in revenue funding.

What an asset is

An asset is something that has value to someone. Under the Community Empowerment Act, it means land and any buildings or other structures on the land, like bridges, walls or piers. It does not include vehicles or equipment.

What a community asset transfer is

Community groups can become owners or custodians of publicly owned buildings and land through community asset transfer. This makes sure we get as much productive use as possible from the assets in our communities.

A community organisation can take over publicly owned land or buildings, in a way that recognises the public benefits that the community use will bring. 

That may be a discounted price, a grant or other support, or simply the agreement to transfer something the public authority did not plan to sell. 

If the land is put up for sale or lease and a community body offers the best, or only, bid, that is a commercial transaction.

More information about community asset transfers

What the fund is for

The purpose of the fund is to support community organisations to acquire and develop community assets.

The fund supports community organisations in three ways:

  • to support the development of the business plan for an asset (project)
  • to develop the organisation's capacity to manage and develop an asset (organisation)
  • upfront investment in assets prior to or after transfer (property)

A community group does not need to have an asset already to apply for the Community Empowerment Fund. Groups can apply for the fund before they have an asset.

What ideas we were looking for

Through the Community Empowerment Fund, we were looking for project ideas that:

  • make good use of assets and have the support of local communities
  • are viable and sustainable community enterprises
  • complement existing services in an area by providing additional activity.

We were looking for applications that promote or improve economic development, regeneration, public health, social wellbeing, environmental wellbeing or reduce socio-economic inequalities.

It is important applicants to the fund were able to demonstrate:

  • a positive impact for local communities
  • community involvement in the design and delivery of the project
  • good working relationships and partnership with others
  • the project was viable and sustainable
  • a strategic fit with the fund objectives and criteria
  • value for money and leverage of additional funding or resources

Who could apply for the fund

Any constituted voluntary or community organisation could apply.

Organisations must be 'Community Transfer Bodies' to be eligible for Community Asset Transfer.

While this is not a requirement for applications, organisations should be aware of it and work towards this status.

How much you could apply for

The two categories of grants were: 

  • funding to develop a project or organisation, up to a value of £10,000
  • funding for costs related to a property, up to a value of £50,000

Applications for this fund closed in July 2023.