As with anything, there are risks involved in these arrangements. We know that many of those that exist remain informal, which can cause problems when expectations are not met, or key individuals leave. Here are some tips for landowners who want to make these opportunities stable, sustainable and trouble-free.
- Clearly negotiating and setting out the responsibilities, skills and expectations of each party will help avoid confusion, conflict and disappointment later on.
- Policies within the landowning organisation, detailing how such partnerships are to be managed, help everyone involved support the process effectively. Even for small private landowners, it’s worth sitting down and thinking about how you might deal with any conflicts that arise.
- Community enterprises should be helped to develop a realistic understanding of the costs associated with a site, the objectives they can realistically deliver and how much independence they need. Even an educated guess can help communities make informed decisions about what they are taking on.
- Landowners and associated funders should consider what funds they are willing to provide to help nurture the community enterprise, for things such as legal advice. Funders should recognise that groups often need separate legal or valuation advice to the landowner.
- A community enterprise should not be expected to accept leases, contracts or management agreements that prevent it from achieving their goals, or from being financially sustainable. Commonly, without a lease or agreement, groups cannot get funding, or agreements are too short, not giving the group confidence that it will recoup its initial investment.
Need more than a list of online tips? Shared Assets can help with each step of this process.
We combine impartiality, expertise and imagination to help landowners make the best of community partnership opportunities. Contact us if you would like to know more about how we can help.