Locality offers support service for community groups bidding to run local assets

Service is part of My Community Rights, a website providing advice on powers introduced in the Localism Act

My Community Rights
My Community Rights

A support service for communities that want to take control of local assets is being offered by the community development body Locality.

The service is part of the My Community Rights website, which helps communities understand new powers introduced by the government in the Localism Act 2011.

The support service has been introduced to help organisations take advantage of the Community Right to Bid, a provision of the Localism Act that came into force in September.

It allows community organisations to nominate land and buildings such as shops, pubs, parks and swimming pools to become part of a register of "assets of community value", and to bid for the right to take them over if they come up for sale.

The Locality service, run in partnership with the Social Investment Business and the Local Government Association, and funded by the Communities and Local Government department, will provide free step-by-step advice to communities that are interested in becoming involved in the process.

Locality also offers a mapping tool called the Place Station, which allows anyone to register a location and matches them with local professionals and supporters, including funders. It will also monitor tweets that use the #righttobid hashtag.

Steve Wyler, chief executive of Locality, said that his organisation had experience of helping communities acquire local assets through its asset transfer unit, which has helped councils transfer assets into community control.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for people seeking a greater stake in their community," he said. "If you’re looking to take over the running of your local sports centre, library or pub, we’re here to help.

"Locality fought hard to shape the Localism Act and continues to campaign for change."

Two other rights in the Localism Act – the Community Right to Build and the Community Right to Challenge – came into force earlier this year. Advice on using both these services is also available through the My Community Rights advice service.

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