Research Reports

  • Tenure Models in Community Ownership
    Jan 2019

    This spectrum, created by Kate Swade, reflects the diverse nature of agreements of tenure than communities can consider when working towards taking on land or an asset and what might be appropriate for different uses. In some cases, there may also be a ‘journey’ with a lease leading to more responsibility and eventually, ownership as trust and track record are built. This can be useful for the community in question as well, as business models are tested and resource built to back the maintenance overheads required by ownership. Consideration should be made by the local authority of how much freedom and security are necessary to enable any investment needed and support innovation growth.

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  • Woodland Social Enterprises and The UK Planning System
    Aug 2017 | Making Local Woods Work

    This report explores the impact of the planning system on UK woodland social enterprises. It summarises the key parts of the planning system in all 4 UK countries, and outlines some of the main challenges that WSEs have with the system.  It was commissioned by the Making Local Woods Work programme, and complements nicely with our previous report on Planning for Common Good Land Use, but takes a deep dive into the often complex world of planning and forestry.  It consists of three main elements:


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  • Planning for the Common Good: Adapting the planning system for common good land use
    Jan 2017

    This report outlines how the planning system could support land-based social enterprises to use land for the common good.

    Planning should support land-based enterprises to contribute towards sustainable development. These organisations can create jobs, produce the things people need, and improve landscapes and natural capital. Currently, there are not enough ways that the planning system and common good land users in the UK can achieve this. This report is an attempt to show how this can change. [Read the full report here]

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  • Training for Common Good Land Use: Putting training delivery at the heart of land-based social enterprise
    Jan 2017

    This report addresses the opportunity of having land-based social enterprises deliver, host and facilitate training schemes as a core part of their business model.

    Good, accessible and comprehensive training is crucial to the land-based sector, where many different skills are needed. We think land-based social enterprises are extremely well placed to deliver these activities. Accordingly, we think there is a lot of scope for expanding the training they offer and the income they can generate from it. This report outlines the current training being offered in the land-based sector, and identifies barriers to developing this capacity, and possible solutions. [Read the full report here]

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  • Learning about Land: Skills, training and employment for land-based social enterprises
    Jan 2016

    This report addresses the skills deficit in the land-based sector, and how access to suitable training and clear career pathways could help to alleviate this deficit.

    Making land work requires many skills. Accordingly, access to good, comprehensive training schemes is crucial to developing a land-based sector that works for everyone. This report provides an overview of the skills needed to work in or lead a land-based social enterprise, how people commonly go about gaining and developing those skills, and the problems and solutions that emerge from this. [Read the full report here]

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  • Creating Common Good Land Use: A Briefing
    Dec 2016

    This report was created as a briefing for the conference on Creating Common Good Land Use, which Shared Assets is hosting on 8 December 2016.

    The briefing includes a short introductory segment on the issues facing common good land use, key discussion questions, what we’ve learnt about the issue, what we think needs changing and what we intend to do about it. It also includes an action plan for moving forward to create common good land use throughout the UK. [Read the full briefing here]


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  • Exploring Land Data: getting better information to common good land users
    Aug 2016

    Quality land data is crucial to making good decisions about land use. Our new report explores the information needed by common good land users and how to get it to them. It also highlights some of the most useful data out there and contains suggestions for data producers on making their data more accessible. We’ve published the report in html here (better for mobile phones), or you can download a copy for printing in pdf here.

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  • Making Public Land Work: how social enterprises can help local authorities make the most out of their land
    Jul 2016

    This report explores how social enterprises can help improve local authority land management. It highlights the key ‘need to know’ information about local authorities and social enterprises, potential barriers new partnerships might face, and a range of ways to promote these models.

    The report draws on research and our wider consultancy work to introduce the key issues we identified. It also proposes a range of strategies for enabling social enterprises and local authorities to work together to make public land work for everyone. [Read the full report here]

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  • Land-Based Social Enterprise: What is standing in the way of new models of common good land use?
    Sep 2015

    This report explores the main issues faced by land-based social enterprises and strategies for addressing them.

    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. [Read the full report here]

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  • Supporting Land-Based Social Enterprises
    Aug 2015

    This report explores some of the key issues to consider when supporting new land-based social enterprises. The findings are drawn from interviews with 13 representatives from social enterprises who received direct technical, business and training support from Shared Assets between 2013-15. [Read the full report here]

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