Building a sustainable data ecosystem around community assets in England

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Jen Bramley, Zarino Zappia

This document describes research carried out by mySociety, in partnership with Power To Change, looking into the role that data on community-owned assets and assets of community value (ACVs) plays in the community asset sector, with an aim to shaping the future direction of mySociety’s Keep It In The Community service.

By speaking to a wide range of community groups, research bodies, charitable funders, and government representatives, we aimed to identify whether there is a role for a database of ACVs and community spaces within the community assets sector, how this database might be updated, and whether it would benefit actors within the sector.

We identified a number of potential interventions a service like Keep It In The Community could make in the journey towards community ownership, such as five-year reminders about expiring ACV listings, and easier monitoring of the community spaces available in an area, for local development planning and or social enterprise support.

However, while conducting the research, we also uncovered increasing evidence of an ACV process unfit for purpose, and a community sector struggling to fill the gaps in social service provision brought about by local authority budget cuts. Our report makes a number of recommendations for policymakers, to improve both the ACV process and also funding provisions for community spaces, to support more assets on the path towards community ownership.


  1. Executive summary
  2. Project purpose
  3. Methodology
  4. Assets of Community Value
    1. Who makes use of ACVs?
    2. Benefits
    3. Challenges
    4. Recommendations
  5. The community assets sector
    1. How ACVs sit within the sector
    2. Challenges
    3. Recommendations
  6. A future role for KIITC
    1. Central government, national organisations, and researchers
    2. Community groups
    3. Local government
  7. Recommendations
    1. Future directions for KIITC
    2. Considerations for policymakers
  8. Appendix: who we talked to

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Cite this

Bramley, J. and Zappia, Z. (2020). Building a sustainable data ecosystem around community assets in England. [online] mySociety Research. Available at: [Accessed 18 Sep 2021].