The Economics of Community Asset Transfers

  • 29th Jul 2022

An Economic Framework to define and measure Social Value in Community Asset Transfers

Community businesses are locally rooted businesses driven by a philosophy of community benefit, enterprise, inclusiveness and community control. The community business market has grown steadily in recent years reaching a peak of around 7,000 businesses in 2016, employing over 36,000 staff, engaging nearly 200,000 volunteers and generating more than £1 billion of income each year in a wide range of sectors.

A common feature across community businesses in different sectors is for their business model to be heavily reliant on and/or driven by Community Asset Transfers (CATs). A CAT is the transfer of the ownership and/or management of an asset from its public-sector owner (usually a local authority) to a community organisation for less than market value. These transfers are made in order to achieve social, economic or environmental outcomes in the community in which the asset is located.

About the authors:

A Pro Bono Economics report for Power to Change

Federico Bruni; Robert Marks; Stuart Newman; Vyara Ruseva 

Pro Bono Economics (PBE) is a charity supporting third-sector organisations in measuring performance, improving services and tracking outcomes PBE seeks to improve the effectiveness of the charitable sector, in particular when evaluating the impact of its activities, and when presenting these results to an external audience. It also aims to provide a mechanism by which the economics profession can contribute to a well-functioning charitable sector, both as an end in itself and as part of professional development for economists.