The indicator is a measure of the extent of community ownership in Scotland.

The indicator describes the change in the number of assets in community ownership. The number of assets is used instead of the land area. This is because the area of community owned assets can vary considerably, ranging from a small building to a crofting estate. Area does not always accurately represent the degree of benefit that ownership of the asset brings to a community. In addition, some community owned assets do not have any associated area, for example a community owned ferry.


There is no definitive single source of assets in community ownership. Information has therefore been collated from the following sources:

  • Organisations providing funding for community ownership schemes
  • Public sector organisations subject to asset transfer requests from community groups under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015
  • Direct contact with community groups

The collated data is then matched against the Land Registry held by the Registers of Scotland.


Community group is characterised by the following:

  • Has a clear definition of the geographical community to which the group relates
  • Membership which is open to any member of that community
  • Be locally-led and controlled
  • Has as its main purpose the furthering of sustainable development in the local area
  • Where its main purpose involves a single activity, e.g. a sports club, that any membership fee does not exceed a nominal amount
  • Its main purpose is not as an employer
  • Be non-profit distributing
  • Has evidence to demonstrate a sufficient level of support/community buy-in

Asset is the term used to describe areas of land, buildings and any other property a community group may own. This is to reflect that is it not just areas of land that can bring benefits to a community and reflects the diverse nature of community ownership. Any areas of land or buildings are individual entries on the Land Register or, for older transactions, the Sasines register, both held by Registers of Scotland.

Ownership is defined is the legal sense, that is the group has a legal title coupled with exclusive legal right to possession.

Criteria for recent change arrow:

  • This evaluation is based on: any difference in the series within +/- 3 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change.
  • An increase of 3 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving;
  • a decrease of 3 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.

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