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Community Asset Transfer timeline

Timeline showing detail for each stage in community asset transfer process.

Stage Processing time
Stage 1 – Advertising of community asset transfer opportunity and request for expressions of interest. Approximately four weeks
Stage 2 – Review of expressions of interest received by council officers. Successful applicants informed. Approximately three weeks
Stage 3 – Organisations to compile business case. Approximately four weeks
Stage 4 – Business case assessment by council officers and senior staff. Agreement in principle for one applicant. Approximately four weeks
Stage 5 – Professional advice and council report. Approximately eight weeks
Stage 6 – Lease agreement and completion. Approximately six weeks

Ongoing - Asset transfer review

Annual review of the service agreement targets and measure benefits. Where applicable, five-yearly renewal of the service agreement.

Breakdown by stage

Stage One

Once a building is identified as suitable for community asset transfer it will be advertised as open for Expressions of Interest.

This will be done by: 

  • Placing an advert on Norwich City Council's website
  • Placing an advert on Norwich Property Services’ (NPS) website
  • Letters will be sent to residents local to the building
  • Community newsletters will include the opportunity (if you do not receive
  • Norwich city council’s community newsletters please email to be added to the mailing lists).

An open day will be held at the building in this time for organisations to inspect the building.

During this window, the webform can be used to submit an Expression of Interest in leasing the property (guidance available).

Stage two

Council officers will review all Expressions of Interest against identified criteria (see the Expression of Interest guidance). Officers may ask for meetings with organisations to clarify points within the submitted form.

Organisations that satisfy the criteria for use will be informed by letter and invited to submit a more detailed business plan for their use of the centre.

Stage three

The business case can be submitted in any relevant format but will need to reference:

  • Organisational objectives and aims
  • Evidence of the organisations previous impact and service delivery
  • Specifics around the use of the building and what services/activities will be delivered from it
  • Robust financial planning including details of any planned investment into the building and evidence of current financial capacity
  • Evidence of the community need being address by the organisations plans and demonstrable community endorsement
  • Evidence that new services and activities would not duplicate existing provision in the local area

Not essential but desired:

  • Evidence of partnership working with other organisations
  • Detail of the evaluation processes which will be used to measure the outcomes of the buildings’ use

During this business case development phase, organisations may request a meeting with council officers to discuss their draft plans before submission.

Stage four

All business cases will be reviewed by council officers and relevant professional for suitability.

Applications will be assessed against the criteria laid out in the Community Asset Transfer Policy and will reflect the social value to the city of each application. These will include:

  • benefit to local residents
  • benefits to the council
  • sustainability of the financial plans
  • whether applications duplicate existing provision
  • demonstrable community support

Each organisation will be invited to discuss their application with officers and relevant professionals to elaborate on any points and review any questions.

An “in principle” decision will be taken by the service director. The successful group will be informed in writing.

Local residents will be informed of the decision and asked to comment as part of the subsequent report.

Stage five

If needed, legal and profession advice will be sought by officers at this stage.

The successful “in principle” organisations’ business case will be presented as a details report to the council’s corporate leadership team (CLT) and portfolio holder.

CLT will also decide whether cabinet are required to authorise the award of the community asset transfer at this stage. If it is a report will be submitted to cabinet for member approval.

Once fully approved, written confirmation will be sent to the successful organisation. Should approval not be awarded, the asset will be reviewed and, if appropriate, readvertised for further expressions of interest.

Stage six

At the stage Norwich Property Services (NPS) will work with the successful organisation to determine the full content of the lease, the rent and the length of the lease.

When both parties are happy with the heads of terms in the lease, NPS will ensure the building is ready to be transferred and the organisation will be given the keys to the building.


Leases will be reviewed as a minimum every five years although shorter terms may be agreed at the lease stage.

Should there be any agreed outcomes and evaluation on the use of the building, the organisation will be expected to supply this to the council in line with the agreed arrangements. These may include usage statistics, service evaluations, or other key indicators.

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