Community right to bid

What is the community right to bid?

The community right to bid allows community groups to bid for community assets, this could be private or publicly owned buildings, or land used by the community that is for sale. The community asset has to be on our community asset list. Once the community group has made the bid, they have six months to find the funding before the asset can be sold. However, the owner does not have to sell the asset to them.

What is a community asset?

A community asset could be one of the following:

  • Village shop
  • Community centre
  • Children's centre
  • Library building
  • Local pub

or a building or other land that is an asset of community value in, or mostly in, Eden district.

Who can nominate and bid for a community asset?

The following groups can nominate and bid for a community asset:

  • A local voluntary group
  • A community group
  • A parish council
  • A neighbourhood forum

When should a community asset be listed?

It is vital to have the community asset listed before any threat of sale arises, as it is only protected from immediate sale once it has been listed. The listing then gives a moratorium period whilst the nominating group seeks funding to make an alternative bid to the owner.

Listing a community asset

Community assets, land or buildings of community value, need to be nominated by a qualifying community group.

Please see the summary of statutory provisions (PDF: 159Kb / 6 pages) - temporarily only available on request. This document sets out the procedure to nominate land or buildings.

The group need to have a clear idea of what the asset could be used for in the future. They will need to supply us with a description of the land, including its boundaries, and information on the current owner(s) and occupier(s).

To nominate land or buildings, please complete the nomination form (Word: 28 Kb / 2 pages), nomination form  (PDF: 204 Kb / 2 pages), using the guidance notes (PDF: 16Kb / 2 pages) - temporarily only available on request.

Making a bid for a community asset

When making a bid for a community asset the more people in your community you can involve the better. Getting the support from people, such as your MP, councillors, council officers, other voluntary and community groups and journalists, will help your bid.

Step one - identify community asset

Before you can make a bid you need to identify the assets in your community, see above for details.

Step two - check community group status

Make sure your group qualifies to nominate and bid for a community asset. Does it have legal status separate from its members, or at least 21 members who are locally registered to vote?

See the GOV.UK web page 'setting up a social enterprise' for more information on setting up a group.

Step three - list an asset

Assets need to be listed with us before the community bid process can start, see above for details.

Step four - the asset goes on sale

If the owner decides to sell the asset and we have it listed, we will tell you that it is up for sale. However, there are some exceptions to this, please contact us for more advice on the contact details below.

Step five - decide if you want to make a community bid

A community group has six weeks to decide if they want to make a bid for an asset, after we tell them an asset is for sale. When the group tell us they would like to bid, this is called making an 'expression of interest'.

Step six - prepare and submit community bid

A community group has six months to prepare and submit a bid and buy an asset from the date we tell them an asset is for sale. A bid should include a detailed description of:

  • Why your group is best placed to take over the asset
  • How you would finance the purchase
  • How you would run the asset

Step seven - owner's decision

After the six months have passed, the owner of the asset can decide which bid he will accept. He does not have to accept the community group's bid. The six months' period is only to allow a community group time to sort out funding so they can make a bid.

Step eight - your community group bid has been successful

If the owner decides to sell the asset to your community group, with the funding already in place, you can go ahead with the process of buying the asset from the current owner. The asset would then be in the ownership of the successful community group to manage and run.

Last updated: Monday, 9 October, 2023.