aerial view of city during daytime
Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash

Community ownership is increasingly being viewed as a key tool in maintaining and developing local economies, goods and services. It can be a crucial way of ensuring much loved local institutions, such as pubs and music venues, are not lost or of delivering new services for communities. The recent years have seen community owned projects deliver results in Liverpool, Plymouth, Bristol and many more. These initiatives have helped to rejuvenate dilapidated and disused assets, to create new areas for community led projects in retail, leisure and business – such as the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool.

New statistics from Plunkett UK, one of the leading organisations supporting community business, reveal the rising demand and ambitions for community ownership. The new data shows there are currently 3,399 prospective Assets of Community Value (ACVs) listed by communities – which could be purchased and converted to community ownership. Pubs are the most commonly listed asset, making up 41% of ACVs listed, with green spaces and community hubs being the next most common.

The growing list of ACVs is a clear indication communities care deeply about local institutions and spaces – particularly when they’re threatened with loss and closure. The financial crises many local authorities find themselves in will mean more public and community assets are put at risk than ever before. As local authorities desperately try to sell off assets to make ends meet, community ownership could help to ensure these assets stay in the hands and use of local community groups – providing essential goods, services and spaces people rely on. The Save Birmingham campaign is already taking action to ensure where assets are being sold, they can be listed and purchased by communities. Led by Co-operatives West Midlands working with partners including Power to Change and Plunkett UK, Save Birmingham is campaigning to ensure Birmingham’s 36 public libraries are saved through community ownership.

Local community ownership will have a big role to play in rebuilding Britain under a potential future Labour & Co-operative Government. As a Party, we will be continuing to campaign for a strengthened new Community Right to Buy – so that the demand for community ownership can be fully realised. You can support our campaign by signing our petition to Build Local Ownership.