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Community Empowerment

Having active, informed and involved communities is at the core of our work as a National Park Authority.

New opportunities that provide community groups with more rights over decision making, service delivery and the management of local assets are being implemented by the Scottish Government through the Community Empowerment Act.

These new powers were prepared following the recommendations of The Christie Commission and cover a range of activities, some new, but many updated.

What does this mean?

The Act and the implementing regulations include a number of provisions, which are outlined in detail on the Scottish Government’s website. The key relevant provisions in the National Park are:

  • Community Planning – additional duties are now in place for public bodies to collaborate and involve communities to a greater extent in the delivery of services.
  • Participation Requests – new provisions are available for a community body to enter into dialogue with the National Park Authority about local issues and local services.
  • Community Right-to-Buy – amendments have been made to the current system and all communities in Scotland will have the right-to-buy.
  • Asset Transfer Requests – community groups now have the right to request the transfer of ownership of a public asset to the community group. View our asset register.
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How do I or my community get involved?

Communities are now able to formally request transfer of one of the Authority’s assets or to participate in a process that will improve an outcome or service. Like other public bodies, there’s already a range of ways to get involved in the work we do and we would encourage you to consider these first. Examples include getting involved with our Local Development Plan and our National Park Partnership Plan.

If your community would like to make a request for asset transfer or participation, there’s a formal process for this. Please review the Government’s Asset Transfer guidance or Participation Request guidance to ensure your community organisation can meet the requirements.

In the first instance, we encourage an informal discussion with us. You can get in touch using the contact details below and we will offer informal advice. If you are unsure of what opportunities there are or how these new requirements work, independent support is also available from the Community Ownership Support Service website (for Asset Transfers) or Scottish Community Development Centre website (for Participation Requests).

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