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 or structures located on land which is not in community ownership.
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 Register 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 of substantial value that 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 paper based 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.
Year is the year in which the asset came into community ownership. Please note that this may not be the year in which the asset is first included in the published statistics. This is because assets are not included until the process of registering them on the Land Register is complete, which may take more than a year. In addition, assets which are already recorded on the Land Register may not immediately be identified by the Scottish Government. This is particularly where the asset was acquired without the involvement of the public sector funding bodies or other organisations which are sources of community ownership data.
Criteria for recent change arrow:
This evaluation is based on: any difference in the series within +/- 3 percent of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 3 percent or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 3 percent or more suggests the position is worsening. A guide for the general methodology of indicators can be found here: https://www2.gov.scot/About/Performance/scotPerforms/NPFChanges/Methodology
Future issues or revisions:
Updated and revised figures will be published annually by the Scottish Government.
Some of the previously published figures have been revised in this indicator update. When the Scottish Government release a new publication the figures for previous years are revised. Assets are only included in the published figures when they are fully registered on the Land Register. They are included the year when the transaction completed as opposed to the year the registration process completed. This can result in changes to figures for previous years. The Scottish Government also find out about new community assets, and they are then included in against the year they were first community owned. Assets can also be removed from earlier years if they have been sold by a community group or we find out the group does not meet the criteria used to classify as community group.