Community buildings: maximising assets
This report provides guidance to local authorities on the management of multi-purpose community buildings.
The policy context in which local authorities' asset management takes place is outlined. A number of issues which affect the occupancy of council buildings by community groups are examined. The policy areas in which community centre organisations can help local authorities meet their objectives are considered, as are the needs of new and developing communities. Case studies are presented which demonstrate effective relationships between local authorities and community centre organisations. Current and planned government priorities are described, and programmes where community engagement is central to success.
The guide was produced with the aim of identifying good practice examples of joint working between local authorities and community centre organisations in the management of community buildings. Local authorities have, for many years, owned multi-purpose community buildings, and handed over their management to small community centre organisations. Local authorities are subject to a wide range of regulations which govern this process, as well as policy initiatives from central government.
Examples of multi-purpose community centres in different local authorities are studied, with attention paid to issues such as: the economic model the centre is run on; organisational structures; rent; leases and occupational rights; management and service level agreements; and contribution to public policy. Recommendations are made to local government on the basis of the case studies.
The guide makes a range of recommendations to local authorities, including: using the role of community centre organisations to fulfil wider strategic aims; giving core financial support to community centre organisations; drawing up service level agreements; and making other buildings available to the community where facilities are in short supply.
Local Government Association and Community Matters
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