At Shared Assets we believe that land is a common resource and that it should be made to work for everyone. A combination of problems mean that land use today rarely works for the common good. Land-based social enterprise helps tackle many of these problems by delivering new, sustainable, models of land use that deliver social, environmental and economic value. The movement is still relatively new, and a number of issues block its progress. The report sets out immediate and more structural issues faced by land-based social enterprises, and describes the strategies we think can help address them.
Immediate issues facing land-based social enterprises: The main section of the report explores eight key issues facing a wide range of land-based social enterprises. These are:
- Difficulties developing financially sustainable models
- Lack of access to good land data
- Struggles with commissioning and procurement
- Struggles with the planning system
- Problems with coordination, support and advocacy
- The high cost of land
- Difficulty securing leases and agreements for land sharing
- Skills deficits
Developing a land reform agenda to address more structural issues: There are some barriers to land-based social enterprises, and other common good land uses, that can only be addressed through more fundamental changes. To overcome these barriers, stakeholders will need to work together to identify and campaign on shared interests. This will mean developing a wide range of connections and asking some fundamental questions about what land should be used for.
Strategies for facilitating new models of common good land use: The report also considers what actions various stakeholders, and Shared Assets, can take to support land-based social enterprise.
Call for collaboration: This report was in part designed as a way to start a conversation about these issues and to find other people who we can work with to take them forward. If you are affected by, or interested in, any of the issues discussed in this report, please get in touch. We want to hear from practitioners, researchers, landowners, and anyone else who can help us push this work forwards.