The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 has been established to enhance community involvement in community planning by creating new opportunities for influencing public service provision and decision making, including how community assets are owned and managed.

The Scottish Government has published further regulations and guidance to support the implementation of this Act. You can find this information on the Scottish Government’s website by clicking here.

The Act introduces new rights to community bodies to make participation requests and asset transfer requests to health boards and other public service authorities. 

A community-controlled body is one with a written constitution, and can either be a corporate body or an unincorporated body. The written constitution should include:

(a) a definition of the community to which it relates.
(b) provision that the majority of members of the body is to consist of members of that community.
(c) provision that the members of the body who consist of members of that community have control of the body,
(d) provision that membership of the body is open to any member of that community,
(e) a statement of the body's aims and purposes, including the promotion of a benefit for that community, and
(f) provision that any surplus funds or assets of the body are to be applied for the benefit of that community.

A “community participation body” can make a participation request. A community participation body is either:
  1. A community-controlled body (see above)
  2. A community council
  3. A community body without a written constitution but otherwise meets similar requirements as that of a community-controlled body, or
  4. A body designated by the Scottish Ministers as a community participation body.
However only a “community transfer body” can submit an asset transfer request. A community transfer body can be a “community-controlled body” (see above) or a body that the Scottish Ministers has designated as a community transfer body.  If the asset transfer request is for ownership of an asset, then the community-controlled body has to be incorporated.
The Scottish Government’s guidance recommends that community bodies should not use both types of request for the same project, and offers the following advice:
  • If the community body wants to take over running a service which is tied to the particular premises, and does not want to use the premises for any other purpose, this should be addressed through a participation request. Usually this would apply to services which will be delivered under a contract or agreement with the relevant authority. A lease or other arrangement in relation to the premises can be negotiated as part of the agreement to provide the service.
  • If the community body wants to take control of the asset in order to deliver services on its own terms or use the property for other purposes, this should normally be addressed through an asset transfer request.
  • An asset transfer request can be accompanied by negotiations for the public authority to contract with the community body to continue to provide a service, as a source of income.
If you are a community body that wishes to submit either a participation request or an asset transfer request to NHS Lothian, you can find the relevant information in the associated pages to your left.

Register of Land

TypeNameLast Reviewed
pdfLothian NHS Board’s Land Register12/10/2017
pptxMaps of where properties are in Lothian12/10/2017

Last Reviewed: 24/10/2017