Community Transfer Bodies
You may find it helpful to complete our check list to check you can be designated as a Community Transfer Body.
- (a) A definition of the community to which the body relates. The group may represent the community in a particular area or people who have a common interest or characteristic. The definition should be clear enough to show whether a person is a member of the community or not.
- (b) provision that membership of the body is open to any member of that community
It has been queried whether membership is open to all if membership fees are charged. The Scottish Government‘s view is that fees may be charged, but they should be set at a level that is affordable for members of the community.
Membership fees are more common for communities of interest based around a common activity, for example for a sports club to cover insurance, hall hire and registration with the sport‘s governing body.
- (c) provision that the majority of the members of the body is to consist of members of that community. People (and organisations) who are not members of the defined community may be allowed to join the body, but the governing documents must require that those who are members of the community must always be in the majority. The model documents handle this requirement by providing for Ordinary Members and Associate Members. Junior Members may also be allowed. If the number of Ordinary Members falls below the number of other members, the Board should not be able to take any action except to seek to recruit more Ordinary Members. If the asset transfer request is for ownership, the governing documents must require the body to have at least 20 members.
- (d) provision that the members of the body who consist of members of that community have control of the body.
- (e) a statement of the body's aims and purposes, including the promotion of a benefit for that community
The aims and purposes may include activity that goes wider than the defined community, such as raising money for charity, promoting their interest to other people or sharing experience with communities in other areas. But at least one of the purposes of the body must clearly be for the benefit of the community they represent.
- (f) provision that any surplus funds or assets of the body are to be applied for the benefit of that community.
Any money or property the body has, after covering its running costs, must be used to benefit the community as a whole. Bodies incorporated as co-operatives, which distribute their profits or dividends to members of the body, are not eligible to make requests for ownership.
If the request is for ownership, and the community transfer body is a company, the Articles of Association must include arrangements for what happens to the body‘s assets if it is wound up. This must require that the property is transferred
- (i) to another community transfer body,
- (ii) to a charity,
- (iii) to such community body (within the meaning of section 34 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003) as may be approved by the Scottish Ministers,
- (iv) to such crofting community body (within the meaning of section 71 of that Act) as may be so approved, or
- (v) if no such community body or crofting community body is so approved, to the Scottish Ministers or to such charity as the Scottish Ministers may direct.