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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

More information on setting up a group can be found on GOV.UK web page 'setting up a social enterprise'.

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 / 6pages) which 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, information on the current owner(s) and occupiers. To nominate land or buildings please complete the nomination form (PDF: 61KB / 2 pages) using the guidance notes (PDF: 16KB / 2KB).

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 have identified 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. More information on setting up a group can be found on GOV.UK web page 'setting up a social enterprise'.

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 have 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 have 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 month 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 go through 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.