Birmingham City Council was one of the first Local Authorities to engage in the Advancing Assets for Communities Programme with the Development Trust Association in 2008 where they initially started to look at the concept of “valuing worth” . This was then further developed and shaped as part of the Development Programme with the commissioning of consultant Tony Rich.Between June and December 2009 the Council embarked on a project to develop tools for measuring the social value and impact of asset transfer.
The project included an Action Learning Set with BCC inviting seven local authorities form different parts of the country which provided a means of ‘road testing’ the tools. These tools were also specifically tested in Birmingham on the two pilot projects, Witton Lodge Community Association and Norton Hall.
Details and findings of the study are given in the ‘Measuring the social value and impact of asset transfer’ final report, Dec 09 as well as the updated social value tool as of February 2011 (see links below).
Birmingham’s current Asset Transfer Programme is based on the parameters of leasehold and setting market rent for the transferred asset. However, it is recognised that market rent values can often be difficult for voluntary and community organisations to achieve and there is no actual objective, qualitative assessment on the service delivery of that organisation. For this reason, Birmingham City Council was committed to develop a methodology that carefully assesses and acknowledges the social value that is added by the organisation and its activities or “valuing worth”. This was developed through the project that devised and amended two tools to properly assess and value the following;
- Measuring the social value of asset transfer (which can be offset against the market rent)
- Measuring the longer-term impact of giving or formalising control of a physical asset
The Social Value Tool:
This was the development of that originally produced by Devon County Council as part of the Advancing Assets for Communities Programme.
It is intended as a means of providing a ‘snap shot’ assessment of a proposal for transferring an asset as well as a way of calculating the social value generated to be offset against the commercial rate of rent. The tool assesses the ‘value added’ by the third sector organisation and the activities arising from the transfer of the asset by measuring them against local and National Indicator objectives.
The sections of the social value tool include:
- Financial and viability assessment
- Strategic added value
- Neighbourhood added value
- Proposed activities and use assessment
(A blank copy is included under appendix 2 link and completed examples for the two pilot projects under appendix 3)
Measuring the impact of asset transfer:
The social value tool is a way of measuring the value generated by an asset transfer as well as an assessment of the receiving organisation. It does not aim to measure the full impact of asset transfer. Therefore an additional tool has been developed to measure the change that greater control of a physical asset has on an organisation and its activities. It seeks to identify what difference having an asset means to an organisation in terms of:
- The organisation
- The activities that the organisation aims to carry out from the building or land
The Development Programme seeks to develop in partnership; projects, organisations and assets that are sustainable and therefore the impact and outcomes must be appropriately defined and monitored. Above all this tool has been developed to ensure that it is not too complex or onerous for third sector organisations to apply and monitor. It also recognises that the outcomes of projects will not all be the same.
(Appendix 5 below is a blank impact table with completed impact assessments for both pilot projects included under Appendix 6)
Appendix 2 – Blank social value tool (doc, 227kb)
Following a recent workshop with members of the Protocol Group ( statutory and voluntary sector members ) the social value tool has been updated and revised as below. In addition currently being developed is a version of the tool that will be a better fit for sport and leisure groups and transfer of assets such as playing fields etc
- Blank social value tool updated February 2011 (doc, 231kb)
- Blank social value tool updated February 2011 – background information (doc, 59kb)
Appendix 3a – Social value tool – Norton Hall Dec 09 (doc, 223kb)
Appendix 4 – Model outcome indicator table (doc, 64kb)
Appendix 5 – Blank CAT impact map (doc, 62kb)
Appendix 6aii – Impact map – Norton Hall (doc, 50kb)
Appendix 6bii – Impact map – Perry Common (doc, 52kb)