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Managing land for the common good 
– a U.K. perspective 
Gestione sostenibile dei beni comuni e 
rigenerazione territorial...
Agenda 
• UK context 
• Shared Assets – about our approach 
– Social enterprise management 
– Commons governance 
– Creati...
Introductions
Shared Assets 
We support community management of woodlands, 
waterways, green spaces and coastal areas. 
We help landowne...
UK context: political & financial 
• Smaller government 
• Austerity 
• Selling of public assets (buildings & land) 
• Loc...
UK context: demand 
• Increasing demand for land 
• Groups and use of land often informal 
• A range: 
– Traditional “frie...
Shared Assets approach
Social enterprise management
Commons-based governance
Commons based governance 
Commons = resource + community + social rules 
• Clearly defined boundaries 
• Rules adapted to ...
Creative engagement
Creative engagement
Opportunities 
Under managed liabilities Productive assets 
Employment 
Training 
Improved environment 
Reinvestment 
Rene...
Challenges 
Contested spaces 
Privatisation of public assets 
Commercialisation of nature 
Creating successful business mo...
Examples & Case Studies 
• Woodland management 
• Food and farming 
• Parks and open spaces
Woodland management 
• Woodland is largest single state-owned landholding 
• Managed by the Forestry Commission 
• In Engl...
Woodland management 
• 2010 
Government attempted to sell of a large part of the 
public forest estate
Woodland social enterprise 
• 60 woodland social enterprises in England (2013) 
• 41 (68%) formed since 2010 
• Small orga...
Hill Holt Wood, Newark 
• 2 sites (30 ha) / 20 staff 
• Owned by the organisation 
• €1.2M / year turnover 
• Services: 
–...
Chiltern Rangers, High Wycombe 
• 14 sites (3-16 ha) / 2 staff 
• Owned by the local authority 
• Organisation ‘spun out’ ...
Food and farming 
• Community food sector in the UK has a combined 
annual turnover of > €90M (2012 research) 
– Mainly fr...
Organic Lea, London 
• Started as an allotment site and 
market stall in 2001 
• Cropshare scheme enables growers 
to sell...
Bosavern Farm, Cornwall 
• 13 ha farm / 2 staff 
• Purchased in 2014 from local 
authority 
• Sell produce 
• Hold communi...
Ecological Land Coop 
• Purchase agricultural land 
• Secure planning permission 
• Sell sites to sustainable growers 
• C...
Parks and public open spaces 
• Under investment and decline in parks 1980s & 90s 
• Investment of €840M from 2000-10 – ma...
Heeley Park, Sheffield 
• Community organisation 
established in 1996 to create new 
public park on derelict land 
• 3.5 h...
Bloomsbury, London 
• 9 squares in central London 
• Managed by local authority 
• Cost of maintenance €550,000 / year 
• ...
Kirklees, Yorkshire 
• New developments create new 
open spaces 
• Either: 
- developers provide one-off payment 
to Counc...
Mile End Park, London 
• Regenerated area of East 
London 
• Income earning assets built into 
the park 
• Generates 50% o...
Business models 
Capital / set up 
•Grants 
•Crowdfunding 
•Community Shares 
•Membership / subscriptions 
•Loans (commerc...
Business models 
Revenue / day to day 
•Community supported / cropshares 
•Sale of goods 
•Sale of services 
– Health / Ed...
Business models 
Reducing costs 
•Volunteers – community and corporate 
•Reducing costs of land / housing 
•Cooperative / ...
• Local context 
– What is different? 
– What is the same?
• Existing activity 
– What is already happening? 
– Who, what, where?
• What are the local opportunities for the 
development of land based social enterprise? 
• What are the challenges / barr...
• What actions are needed to enable something 
to develop? 
– Short, medium & long term?
• What resources are available? 
– People, money, skills & knowledge, land
Contact 
Mark Walton 
mark@sharedassets.org.uk 
@shared_assets 
www.sharedassets.org.uk
T213 walton managing land for common good   testimonianza 15-11-2014
T213 walton managing land for common good   testimonianza 15-11-2014
T213 walton managing land for common good   testimonianza 15-11-2014
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T213 walton managing land for common good testimonianza 15-11-2014

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T213 walton managing land for common good testimonianza 15-11-2014

  1. 1. Managing land for the common good – a U.K. perspective Gestione sostenibile dei beni comuni e rigenerazione territoriale - esperienze nel Regno Unito Mark Walton November / Novembre 2014
  2. 2. Agenda • UK context • Shared Assets – about our approach – Social enterprise management – Commons governance – Creative engagement • Examples & case studies – Woodland / Farming / Public open space • Business models – Capital / Revenue
  3. 3. Introductions
  4. 4. Shared Assets We support community management of woodlands, waterways, green spaces and coastal areas. We help landowners and community enterprises work together to transform under managed land into productive community spaces.
  5. 5. UK context: political & financial • Smaller government • Austerity • Selling of public assets (buildings & land) • Localism • Devolution • Community rights – Community Right to Bid – Community Right to Challenge – Neighbourhood Planning
  6. 6. UK context: demand • Increasing demand for land • Groups and use of land often informal • A range: – Traditional “friends of groups” – Enterprising, values-driven groups – People wanting to meet their own needs – Unorthodox groups • Alternative currencies • Cooperative and ‘commons’ approaches
  7. 7. Shared Assets approach
  8. 8. Social enterprise management
  9. 9. Commons-based governance
  10. 10. Commons based governance Commons = resource + community + social rules • Clearly defined boundaries • Rules adapted to local conditions • Those using the resource participate in decision-making • Effective, accountable • Sanctions for those who violate community rules • Cheap and easy to access conflict resolution
  11. 11. Creative engagement
  12. 12. Creative engagement
  13. 13. Opportunities Under managed liabilities Productive assets Employment Training Improved environment Reinvestment Renewable resources Community engagement Social connections
  14. 14. Challenges Contested spaces Privatisation of public assets Commercialisation of nature Creating successful business models
  15. 15. Examples & Case Studies • Woodland management • Food and farming • Parks and open spaces
  16. 16. Woodland management • Woodland is largest single state-owned landholding • Managed by the Forestry Commission • In England: – 258,000 ha – 2% of the land area – 18% of all woodland – 1500 sites
  17. 17. Woodland management • 2010 Government attempted to sell of a large part of the public forest estate
  18. 18. Woodland social enterprise • 60 woodland social enterprises in England (2013) • 41 (68%) formed since 2010 • Small organisations < 5 staff < 250 ha woodland < €65,000 / year turnover • Insecure tenure > 50% have an informal agreement with owner < 30% own the land they work on • Wide range of activities - education / health / creating products / woodfuel etc
  19. 19. Hill Holt Wood, Newark • 2 sites (30 ha) / 20 staff • Owned by the organisation • €1.2M / year turnover • Services: – Training & education – Conferences / weddings etc – Green space management – Sustainable architecture – Wood products
  20. 20. Chiltern Rangers, High Wycombe • 14 sites (3-16 ha) / 2 staff • Owned by the local authority • Organisation ‘spun out’ of the local authority Woodland Service • €240,000 / year turnover • Services: – Training and education – Woodland management off site – Corporate team building activities
  21. 21. Food and farming • Community food sector in the UK has a combined annual turnover of > €90M (2012 research) – Mainly from retail - community shops and markets – Only about €4.2M from farms / producers • Small organisations – Median turnover €18,000 / year • Over 60% established in 3 years prior to 2012 • About 60% have paid staff – Making Local Food Work - €10.2M support programme 2007-2012
  22. 22. Organic Lea, London • Started as an allotment site and market stall in 2001 • Cropshare scheme enables growers to sell surplus produce • 2010 secured 10 year lease on disused local authority plant nursery with glasshouses • Provide training, sell produce, seeking more land for new growers, establishing cooperative marketing
  23. 23. Bosavern Farm, Cornwall • 13 ha farm / 2 staff • Purchased in 2014 from local authority • Sell produce • Hold community events • Developing farm buildings for education and economic development
  24. 24. Ecological Land Coop • Purchase agricultural land • Secure planning permission • Sell sites to sustainable growers • Can sell a site with planning permission for €86,000 – Similar smallholding with a house can cost up to €600,00 – Typical annual net profit for organic smallholders is €17,000 • Leases prevent sale for profit
  25. 25. Parks and public open spaces • Under investment and decline in parks 1980s & 90s • Investment of €840M from 2000-10 – mainly capital • Current cuts to public finances risk new decline • Few existing examples but a lot of interest in developing new models – NESTA – Rethinking Parks – 11 projects over 2 years – Cabinet Office – Delivering Differently
  26. 26. Heeley Park, Sheffield • Community organisation established in 1996 to create new public park on derelict land • 3.5 ha • Land owned by local authority - 125 year lease • Raised €1.2M since 1997 • Income from events and activities • Exploring potential for membership / subscription income
  27. 27. Bloomsbury, London • 9 squares in central London • Managed by local authority • Cost of maintenance €550,000 / year • Exploring potential to create new income from: - a levy on local businesses / residents - events - voluntary donation • 2% levy on business rates would raise > €1M / year • Potential for new ‘area wide’ governance arrangements
  28. 28. Kirklees, Yorkshire • New developments create new open spaces • Either: - developers provide one-off payment to Council, or - residents pay a ‘ground-rent’ that pays for a private contractor • Exploring potential for new social enterprise to manage new open spaces
  29. 29. Mile End Park, London • Regenerated area of East London • Income earning assets built into the park • Generates 50% of annual budget from buildings within the park
  30. 30. Business models Capital / set up •Grants •Crowdfunding •Community Shares •Membership / subscriptions •Loans (commercial banks or social investment)
  31. 31. Business models Revenue / day to day •Community supported / cropshares •Sale of goods •Sale of services – Health / Education •Diversification – Renewable energy / Tourism •Capturing value – Local levies / Ground rents •Balancing assets – Buildings / other sites that will generate income
  32. 32. Business models Reducing costs •Volunteers – community and corporate •Reducing costs of land / housing •Cooperative / collaborative approaches – Marketing – Distribution – Equipment
  33. 33. • Local context – What is different? – What is the same?
  34. 34. • Existing activity – What is already happening? – Who, what, where?
  35. 35. • What are the local opportunities for the development of land based social enterprise? • What are the challenges / barriers?
  36. 36. • What actions are needed to enable something to develop? – Short, medium & long term?
  37. 37. • What resources are available? – People, money, skills & knowledge, land
  38. 38. Contact Mark Walton mark@sharedassets.org.uk @shared_assets www.sharedassets.org.uk

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