Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015: asset transfer requests - evaluation

Findings from an independent evaluation assessing the implementation of Part 5 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 – asset transfer requests. The evaluation was commissioned by the Scottish Government and was conducted by researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University.




3 Myers, F., Geyer, J. and Craig, P. 2017. Evaluability assessment of Parts 3 and 5: participation requests and asset transfer requests. NHS Health Scotland, Edinburgh. Available at:

4 Sections 79(2)(a), 79(2)(b)(i) and 79(2)(b)(ii), respectively.

5 Scottish Government. 2017. Asset Transfer under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act: Guidance for Relevant Authorities. Available at:

6 Due to delays in relevant authority reporting, data collection and analysis of secondary data for 2018-19, this activity was also conducted under Stage 3 (Section 3.2.4)

7 The Act does not specify where the reports should be published.

8 Hill O’Connor, C. and Steiner, A. (2018) Review of Asset Transfer Requests Annual Reports: Summary, Scottish Government, available at:

9 During these meetings and events, informal interviews were carried out with attendees and fieldnotes were taken.

10 Srivastava, A. and Thomson, T. 2009. Framework Analysis: A Qualitative Methodology for Applied Policy Research. Journal of Administration and Governance. 72. Framework analysis uses a five stage process (Familiarisation; Identifying a thematic framework; Indexing; Charting; Mapping and interpretation) and involves sifting, charting and sorting gathered data in accordance with key issues and themes.

11 Five Regional Transport Networks and one Health Board reported that they had no assets.

12 Although Scottish Ministers are included in the legislation, prior to this evaluation, there was no existing central list of bodies under this heading for the purpose of asset transfer. At the outset of this evaluation, the Scottish Government conducted an exercise to establish the appropriate bodies concerned. During the evaluation, it became apparent that some of these bodies did not own properties in the care of Scottish Ministers. Towards the end of this evaluation, the Scottish Government amended the list of Scottish Ministers to be included in the legislation (this is presented at Appendix 3). It is expected this list will fluctuate as properties in the care of Scottish Ministers change over time. For the purpose of this evaluation, the original list of Scottish Ministers (presented at Appendix 1) is used. Future analysis should use the amended list.

13 The statuses set out in Table 9 are explained as follows:

  • Agreed: The asset transfer request has been agreed by the relevant authority;
  • Refused: the asset transfer request has been refused by the relevant authority;
  • Transfer: asset transfer requests resulting in the transfer of an asset;
  • Appeal: The community transfer body is appealing the decision made by the relevant authority;
  • Review: the community transfer body is seeking a review of the decision.

A community transfer body can seek a review or appeal in certain circumstances. These circumstances and full information on reviews and appeals is given under Section 17 in the Scottish Government Guidance on asset transfer requests (2017) for community transfer bodies.

14 The higher number of accepted asset transfer requests as compared to the number of received asset transfer requests is due to some 2017-2018 applications being accepted in the subsequent period (2018-2019).


16 The deciles range from 1 (10% most deprived areas) to 10 (10% least deprived).

17 Forestry Enterprise Scoring Matrix available:

18 Scottish Government. 2017. Asset Transfer under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act: Guidance for Relevant Authorities. Available at:

19Alternative matrix:

20 A sales pack may be provided by relevant authorities and contain information on properties to be disposed (for example, rateable value, size, planning restrictions, tenancy or occupancy agreements, asbestos reports etc.). See 7.31 in the Scottish Government Guidance on asset transfer requests (2017) for further information.

21 Adapted from online information forms on the local authority website:

22 Indications of community empowerment:

23 During the course of this evaluation and in recognition of the potential for asset transfer requests to exacerbate inequalities, the Scottish Government commissioned COSS to carried out work tailored to tackling inequalities. As such, COSS is conducting work to identify and encourage asset transfer request uptake in areas of deprivation and in ‘cold spots’ of low or no activity.




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