Why Asset Transfer and Community Ownership?
The route suggested by Bradford One is that of a community asset transfer, where the building is transferred into community ownership and ‘asset locked’ so that it will always be owned by the public and must always be used for the purpose they have chosen for it.
The project would be funded by a combination of a community share issue (in which the public can buy shares), by grant funding, and by traditional debt finance.
Although it would be owned by the community, all of the planning, development and running would be done by professionals, with the community as the landlords and a democratically elected board as a guide.
The new Localism Act supports this route by empowering local people to take ownership of their homes. Bradford has a long history of leading the way when it comes to empowerment and betterment of life for all – from the introduction of free school meals and limited working hours for children, to the purpose-built mill workers’ village of Saltaire. This route compliments and continues Bradford’s pioneering history.
Here are just a few benefits:
- For the public it means that everyone who has campaigned to save the Odeon can have a say in what happens
- For developers it gives a shortcut to finding out what people in Bradford want and would use, as well as reducing costs significantly because of the available funding and reduced costs of this type of ownership model
- For the Council it is a way to work alongside the community whilst remaining key stakeholders in the project, meet regeneration aims and see jobs created, all without using scarce public funds during a time of cuts to vital services
- For the city it means that the end use would be tailored to what is good for the city, and profits which would go to a private landlord would instead go back into cultural projects in Bradford
- For outside investors it shows that Bradford is prepared to invest in itself, which sends a strong and confident message about our potential