Posts Tagged ‘Birmingham’

On going work with Community Asset Transfer in Birmingham

Posted on 4th April 2011 by

Community Asset Transfer…”There are risks but they can be minimised and managed – there is plenty of experience to draw on. The secret is all parties working together”

(The Quirk Review – “Making Assets Work”)

It is hoped that this website will act as a support and guide  for both public agency staff and community organisations to the ins and outs of Community Asset Transfer in Birmingham giving an interesting, creative and importantly  “warts and all”  picture of previous and current work. (more…)

Hutton Hall Community Centre, Washwood Heat

Posted on 4th April 2011 by
Opening of Hutton Hall

Opening of Hutton Hall

Photo of Hutton Hall Celebration Event by Podnosh

UPDATE jan 14 – unfortunately Hutton Hall has been taken back into the city council following  a number of difficulties with the community organisation who were the preferred community partner. There is always going to be an element of risk with CAT  but lessons have been learnt and because of the city’s policy of long lease rather than freehold it does mean the facility is still in the  public realm and may be available again in the future for CAT


On Friday, 1 April 2011 a celebration event was held at Hutton Hall Community Centre in Washwood Heath to show off the fantastic art work on the outside of the building and for its very imminent community asset transfer hand over to Commpact from Birmingham City Council.

Masood Yasin, Senior Project Manager at Commpact in Washwood Heath – with a whole host of volunteers and support from Macarts – has led this project through the community asset transfer initiative.

In this audio, Masood talks about the challenges of working through the community asset transfer – it’s been 2 years’ work. He also talks about how the hard work has paid off in a rejuvenated community centre that looks fantastic and will be a great place for young people, families and community groups to meet. He wants the centre to be the hub, the heart of the community, for everyone in Washwood Heath.


Iain Neville on why Advantage West Midlands is involved in community asset transfer

Posted on 23rd March 2010 by
Iain Neville of AWM

Iain Neville of AWM

Iain Neville is Head of Economic Inclusion at the West Midlands regional development agency – Advantage West Midlands.    He spoke to us at the conference held on March 26th 2010 to share what has been learnt in the Birmingham pilots with local authorities and community groups from around the region.

You can listen to his thoughts below, but some of the key points he made are:


  • People who are economically excluded – out of work or underemployed – can be helped through community asset transfer by raising aspirations in some of poorer neighbourhoods.
  • AWM began by working with Development Trusts Association to do some research to see if their is a link between asset transfer and economic benefit
  • AWM decided that their most useful role was to work with Birmingham City Council to support their ongoing efforts working with community groups – allowing AWM to learn more about how this might have economic impact
  • Iain would advise local government officers to put the suitability of the community organisation first.  Don’t start with a building you want to gte rid of, work with a community group to ensure they are able to make good long term use of that building.
  • Is the community group clear in it’s purpose and it’s business planning.  If note, put the transfer “in the back pocket” and work with the organisation to help them develop.

He also mentions what is referred to as Viability not liability – ensuring the future viability of the community group is put ahead of handing on liability for buildings.

  • “Palming off” a building on a community group not yet ready “that way lies madness” and the community group may look like it has failed, when it was never suitable to take on the role. That then undermines politicians confidence in community asset transfer.
  • Advice to community groups: “If it’s one active citizen I’d be worried”,  they need a group of people behind them.  Have they throught through the risks.  Keep you objectives the same, not change those because of asset transfer.  Don’t become an organisation who’s purpose is to run a building.
  • What next, the learning from Birmingham can be adapted in many places.  The danger is that this is simply treated as part of an efficiency drive. The aim is for the council to get greater value out of current assets, not simply saving money.  Council’s need to understand the value to a whole area – also through local strategic partnerships and even total place.

Iain gave a presentation to the learning conference on March 23rd 2010. Here are his slides:

Any thoughts please use the comments below.