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What is Community Asset Transfer?

We lease more than 150 properties to voluntary and community organisations, often at reduced or minimal rents, or preferential terms. These arrangements range from short-term licences to long leases and this process is known as Community Asset Transfer (CAT).

Local people are often best placed to manage community facilities in their area. They already make extensive use of these assets and their local knowledge and hands-on management often results in lower overheads and better value-for-money. Community organisations also use volunteers and take great pride in their local area.

Managing these facilities helps to empower local communities and can bring opportunities for greater independence and financial sustainability. When done well, CAT can create lasting change in local neighbourhoods.

We are fully committed to using our assets to form long-term partnerships with suitable third sector organisations, in order to create stronger, more cohesive and more sustainable communities.

Our policy

We have adopted a pdf Community Asset Transfer Policy (601 KB) , which sets out the criteria for organisations wishing to apply for CAT.

The policy also contains details of the various stages of the application and decision making process, together with anticipated time scales.


Each organisation wishing to apply for CAT needs to meet the following criteria:

  1. Be a charitable or not-for-private-profit organisation, for example a registered charity, company limited by guarantee with charitable status, Community Interest Company (CIC), a co-operative or community benefit Industrial & Provident Society with an asset lock.
  2. Generate social, economic or environmental benefits which directly benefit the people of Bristol.
  3. Benefit as wide and diverse a range of local people as possible.
  4. Have robust systems, governance and policies, as evidenced by a recognised quality mark or by meeting all the basic requirements listed in Appendix B of the CAT Policy.
  5. Have the capacity to manage the asset and have directors or committee members who have the necessary experience and skill.
  6. Contribute towards the councils corporate and strategic objectives.


Each request for CAT is considered on the basis of a written business case, consisting of a detailed business plan and evidence of need, expertise and the relevant quality standard. Full details can be found in sections seven and eight of the CAT Policy.

Further details about the CAT Policy, the eligibility criteria and the process are available from our Community Assets Team.

Contact information

Community Assets Team

Email: community.buildings@bristol.gov.uk

Tel: 0117 903 6440