Menu
Community empowerment act

Community Empowerment Act

Find out what your rights are under the legislation.

How you can benefit from the Community Empowerment Act 

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 helps to empower community bodies through the ownership or control of land and buildings, and by strengthening community voices in decisions about public services.

Communities can make the following requests to us:

  • Asset Transfer Request: to request to purchase, lease or use any land or buildings in our ownership or control.
  • Participation Request: to request to participate in decisions and processes to improve outcomes from our services.

Have a look at our FAQs below to find out more about an Asset Transfer Request and a Participation Request. 

You can also have a look at the Scottish Government's summary guide on their website for more information.

Visit gov.scot 

 

Participation Request

A Participation Request enables communities to have their say about how our services can be improved. See our frequently asked questions for more detail.

What's the purpose of a Participation Request

A participation request is designed to provide greater community involvement in improving outcomes.

An outcome is the change that results from a service we provide or deliver. When making a request, you must set out the outcome the community wishes to improve.

Outcomes can occur at different levels, including: individuals and families, organisations, communities, the environment and systems or structures.

Who can make a Participation Request?

Any constituted group of people can come together to make a participation request. This could be an existing group such as a community council, a development trust or a business community association, or a new group or organisation could be formed. The group can represent a community of interest or a geographic community.

We can let you know if your group is eligible to make a request and can guide you if changes are required.

What's involved in a Participation Request to us?

This is set out in detail in the Act and the Scottish Government’s Participation Requests Guidance, but in simple terms:

  • The community submits a participation request to HIE, detailing the outcome it wishes to improve and how it can contribute to an improvement process.
  • We set up a process and work with you to consider the proposed improvement.
  • At the end of the process we publish a report on whether the outcome was improved and how the community contributed to this improvement.

For more information, an informal discussion, or to request assistance to make a participation request, please contact: 

Sandra Holmes
Head of Community Assets
e: sandra.holmes@hient.co.uk
t: 01463 383309

How does my community make a Participation Request to HIE?

As a first step we would welcome an informal discussion with you. This will help us understand the outcome you wish to improve and how best we can support you to make the request. However, you are not obliged to discuss your request with us prior to formally submitting it.

We would encourage you to read Scottish Government’s Participation Requests Guidance prior to making a request.

Download the Participation Request form >

For more information, an informal discussion, or to request assistance to make a participation request, please contact: 

Sandra Holmes
Head of Community Assets
e: sandra.holmes@hient.co.uk
t: 01463 383309

Please email your completed form to participation-requests@hient.co.uk

or send it to:

Sandra Holmes
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Taigh Fearna
Lochalsh Business Park
Auchtertyre
Kyle
IV40 8EG

 

What Participation Requests have already been made to HIE?

Current Participation Requests

We are not assessing any requests at present.

Concluded Participation Requests

We have not yet received a Participation Request.

Annual reports

We're required to publish an annual report setting out the numbers of participation requests received and their outcomes. Here are our reports to date:

Asset Transfer Request

Your community can request to purchase, lease or use any land or buildings that we own or lease, if you feel you could make better use of it. We develop and maintain a diverse property portfolio. In addition to our offices, we hold over 130 industrial and office buildings, approximately 350 acres of commercial development sites, and two rural land holdings.

Our latest property register

Interested in what assets we own? You can download our register below. 

HIE's Property Register

How can my community make a request about a HIE owned asset?

You can make a request in relation to any land or building that we own or lease. It does not have to be surplus to our requirements or offered for sale. 

We welcome early enquiries and are happy to have an informal discussion. As we have an active property portfolio, where sales and leases are an ongoing occurrence, it helps us to be aware of your aspirations even if they are no more than initial ideas.

You can download our register from the question above. 

For an informal discussion and more information, please contact:

Sandra Holmes
Head of Community Assets
e: sandra.holmes@hient.co.uk
t: 01463 383309

To make an asset transfer request, please email asset-transfer@hient.co.uk

What's involved?

There are a number of steps to work through and certain requirements to be met.

Firstly, applicants need to meet asset transfer eligibility requirements before a request can be considered. If you wish to own, rather than lease an asset, it is likely that you may have to amend your governing document to meet these requirements. We can explain any changes you may need to make.

In your application you will need to set out the reason for making the request, the benefits this will deliver, and the price you are prepared to pay.

We then asses your request against a range of criteria as set out in the Act. We also consider how your proposal may impact on our ability to deliver out functions and any negative impact this may have on others.

Once we have made our decision we will issue you with a decision notice. This will detail the decision and the reasons for it. If we agree the notice will include the terms and conditions on which we are agreeable to conferring the rights requested. If we refuse, you have a right to appeal.

Download our guide to making an Asset Transfer Request here 

What Asset Transfer Requests have already been made to HIE?

Current Asset Transfer requests

We are not assessing any requests at present.

Concluded Asset Transfer Requests

2018 Unst Partnership Limited 
Unst Partnerhsip Ltd (UP) submitted an asset transfer request to purchase Unit 1 in Hagdale Industrial Estate, Baltasound, Unst in December 2017. At the time they were the tenants of the light industrial unit which they used for office accommodation. They made a request to buy the unit in order to refurbish it, retain the office space and develop a second-hand shop and recycling enterprise. The request was agreed to and the property transfer was completed in November 2018.

View the Decision Notice here

Annual Reports

We are required to publish an annual report setting out the numbers of asset transfer requests received and their outcomes. Here are our reports to date: