The Community Asset Transfer Fund will also help third sector groups and social enterprises manage the buildings properly to develop them to their full potential, indirectly leading to a greater sense of prosperity for the locality.
The Welsh Assembly Government will be working in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund to determine how the Community Asset Transfer Fund should be targeted and what will be achieved by it.
Deputy Minister for Regeneration Leighton Andrews said:
If an asset is transferred it can bring about a number of benefits to the social enterprise and contribute to the wider community itself. For example, there may be job opportunities for local people and economic benefits for people living in the area.
The potential outcomes are many – social businesses may be started; community centred activity may develop; community groups who own assets may generate revenue, all leading to a stronger and more self confident community.
The capital funding of £8 million over three years I am announcing today will help community groups restore public buildings which will help renew a sense of pride in those communities.
The Deputy Minister also announced that he intended setting up a new Ministerial Advisory Group on Social Enterprise which in time will replace the current Social Enterprise Joint Working Group. He paid tribute to the contribution of the Social Enterprise Joint Working Group which was originally formed in 2002.
I am grateful for all the work that the Social Enterprise Joint Working Group has done to help move the agenda forward. Over the last few years there has been considerable progress and I want to build on this. My intention is to have a more focussed and specialist Group to advise Ministers. I am currently looking at how this new Group will be appointed and will make a further announcement on that in the New Year.
The Deputy Minister added:
The Quirk review called for governments to introduce measures to encourage asset transfer. The Welsh Assembly Government is taking up this challenge to empower social enterprises and communities across Wales.
18 November 2008