Assets of community value: what, why, how?June 8, 2021 Tags: ACV, assets of community value, Birmingham City Council, community buildings, social interest
Updated in July 2021!
What are assets of community value? Does your Birmingham neighbourhood have a place that should be listed as one?
An ‘asset of community value’ (ACV) is a building or place that furthers the social wellbeing or social interests of its local community, now and in the future.
Under the Localism Act 2011, community groups and citizens can nominate certain local public or privately owned buildings (or land they feel is significant) for recognition as an ACV.
If the local authority accepts the nomination, the ACV will be included on a register of such assets for five years.
During this time, if the asset’s owner wishes to sell it, they must, with a number of limited exceptions, inform the local authority. In turn, the local authority will notify the local community of the proposed sale.
At this point, the community can tell the authority that it wishes to bid for the asset, enacting the part of the Localism Act 2011 known as the ‘Community Right to Bid’. This will trigger a moratorium (a legally authorised delay) of six months – during which time the ACV cannot be sold. So the community has time to see if it can raise funds to buy the ACV.
Having an asset listed as an ACV does not require the owner to sell the asset at less than market value. Nor does it require the owner to sell the asset to any particular group. It simply gives people a chance to keep, in public use, the buildings that matter most to their local community.
What makes a place a potential ACV?
With a few exceptions, any building or land can be defined as an ACV if its main use in the recent past, including present use, has been to further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community, and it is likely to do so in the future (usually for the next five years).
‘Social interests’ can include recreational, sporting and cultural interests.
Some buildings cannot be listed as ACVs, such as hotels and private homes, but many can.
ACVs in Birmingham
Birmingham has registered a large number of nominations as ACVs and these include community centres, church halls, communal land and even football stadia.
Birmingham City Council welcomes ACV nominations from any community organisation including:
- Neighbourhood forums
- Parish councils
- Community interest companies (CICs)
- Community groups with at least 21 members on the electoral register and where the group is un-constituted
- Charities or any other non-profit organisations.
Birmingham City Council has a legal duty to consider and determine all nominations and must do so within eight weeks of receiving all information relevant to a nomination. The City maintains a panel of independent officers who will consider the nomination and ensure that there is no conflict between professional duty and legal obligations.
The council welcomes questions and nominations from groups in relation to any asset within the community that can be considered to meet the ACV criteria.
We held an information session on ACVs in early July 2021. Thank you to Andrew Parry and Karen Cheney from Birmingham City Council’s Neighbourhood Development Support Unit for their informative presentation.
We plan to hold further sessions on nominating ACVs (as well as the process of community asset transfer, which we didn’t manage to cover in the first session). Sign up to our newsletter so you hear about them – or email us to express your interest in attending one.
If you would like to know more straight away, please send your questions to NDSU@birmingham.gov.uk.