Community ownership is increasing across Scotland
An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.
Scotland's Chief Statistician today published the Community Ownership in Scotland 2018 publication. The publication presents the number of assets in community ownership, the number of community groups that own assets and the total area of assets in community ownership.
The publication provides the first figure for a new National Indicator which uses the number of assets owned by community groups to measure the extent of community ownership in Scotland.
As at December 2018 there were 593 assets in community ownership, owned by 429 community groups and with a total area of 209,810 hectares, 2.7% of the total land area of Scotland.
In 2018, 37 assets came into community ownership, an increase of 7% from 556 in 2017, comprising an additional 3,223 hectares. There were 27 community groups which took ownership of assets for the first time in 2018.
Community ownership is widespread across Scotland, however there is a large difference between the distribution of assets, the community groups that own them and their corresponding land area. Over a third (38%) of assets and a similar proportion (39%) of community groups are located in two local authorities: Highland (142 assets owned by 111 groups) and Argyll and Bute (84 assets owned by 54 groups).
Considering the land area of community owned assets, Na h-Eileanan Siar and Highland together contain 96.4% (202,174 hectares) of the land area in community ownership in Scotland: 60,042 hectares for Highland; and 142,132 hectares for Na h‑Eileanan Siar.
The figures released today were produced by statistical staff in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
The Community Ownership in Scotland 2018 publication provides figures on the extent of community ownership in Scotland as at December 2018. The publication informs the National Indicator ‘Community Ownership in Scotland’ which is being published for the first time.
The National Indicator on assets in community ownership has been developed following the recommendation of the Scottish Land Commission to move away from the target to have one million acres in community ownership by 2020. The number of assets is considered to be a better measure of community ownership than land area, as area does not always accurately reflect the degree of benefit an asset brings to a community.
In relation to the Community Ownership in Scotland 2018 publication, 'community' is defined on a geographical basis, which can be defined by postcode units and/or a prescribed area.
A relevant 'community group' is required to have a number of essential characteristics, which collectively ensure that community owned assets are used for the benefit of the wider community rather than one particular interest group
Ownership is defined in the legal sense: A legal title coupled with exclusive legal right to possession.
Asset is the term is used to describe areas of land, buildings or anything else of value a community group may own. This is to reflect that is it not just areas of land that can bring benefits to a community.
Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – read more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland.