Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015

Communities across Scotland can now make use of this Act which aims to empower communities by strengthening their voices in decisions about public services and making it easier for them to own and manage land and buildings.

The Act was given royal assent in summer 2015 after three years of consultation and development. Over the following year, regulations (additional legislation required to put the Act in place) and statutory guidance (guidance which public authorities must have regard to) was developed.

The different parts of the Act (11 in all) have been coming into force ever since and most of the legislation is now ready to make use of.

We are currently working with the Scottish Government to raise awareness of participation requests as well as the Act more generally. Alongside this, we are conducting a learning and support programme in selected sites across Scotland. This will help to find out how participation requests are being used as well as what further measures may be needed to ensure they empower disadvantaged communities.

 SCDC’s 2-pager on the Act

This simple 2-pager on the Act contains most of the above summary information in a printable format (pdf).

SCDC briefing no. 1/17 - Update on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act, February 2017

SCDC’s latest briefing on the Act also summarises the Act but contains a little more detail on each part.

SCDC briefing no. 2/15 - The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act

This briefing provides an overview and a more detailed look at the Act's provisions, particularly around community planning, participation requests and taking over assets. Where possible, we have provided explanations of technical terms and step-by-step lists of how provisions will work. 

Participation Requests: Summary Guidance for Community Participation Bodies

The summary guidance on participation requests is a good start for anyone unfamiliar with this part of the Act, and we have also written this 2-pager which attempts to introduce participation requests in plain English.

 Statutory Guidance on Participation Requests

Guidance on participation requests has been developed for both public service authorities and community bodies to use. Public service authorities are required to have regard to guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers in carrying out their functions in relation to participation requests.

 Communities Channel Scotland

This website aims to support community organisations to achieve their aims by profiling their work and linking to useful resources. It includes information on legislation that might be useful to community organisations, including the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act.