Pillars of the community: the transfer of local authority heritage assets

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Aimed at both local authorities and community groups, this guidance is designed to provide clear, useful advice on when and how to transfer heritage assets from public to community ownership. The guidance also provides links to case studies, checklists, a glossary, bibliography and additional sources of information.

Since the first edition of Pillars of the Community was published, in 2011, the Localism Act (2011) has introduced new Community Rights, there has been an increase in the number of assets offered for transfer and new grant funds have been introduced. The guidance has been revised in the light of these changes.

Many local authorities are taking a close look at the the property they own with a view to making savings and rationalising their holdings. At the same time, there are increasing opportunities, provided in part by legislative change, for communities to take a more active role in their local area. These two principles are brought together in the transfer of heritage assets from local authority ownership, into the hands of local communities.

The revised guidance has been produced by Locality, on behalf of English Heritage, in consultation with experts in the heritage sector from the Architectural Heritage Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund (now National Lottery Heritage Fund), the Prince's Regeneration Trust and National Trust.

This document has been written by Locality. It is intended as a working document. Comments and new information are welcomed and should be addressed to [email protected] or [email protected]


  • 1: Context
    1.1: Introduction
    1.2: Structure of this guidance
    1.3: The importance of heritage assets
    1.4: Community ownership and management of assets – the new operating environment
  • 2: Asset transfer: the local authority perspective
    2.1: Considerations for local authorities
    2.2: Taking stock of heritage assets
    2.3: Assembling relevant information on heritage assets
    2.4: Formulating transfer strategies
  • 3: Asset transfer: the community perspective
    3.1: Considerations for community organisations
    3.2: Assessing options for use
    3.3: Developing and maintaining support for the project
    3.4: Managing the risks
    3.5: Agreeing terms
    3.6: Building an effective organisation
    3.7: Raising finance
    3.8: Maintaining long-term viability
  • 4: Bibliography
  • 5: Glossary
  • 6: Different types of heritage asset
  • 7: Where to get advice
    7.1: Contact Historic England

Pillars of the Community

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Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 44
  • Product Code: HEAG032


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