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The Community Asset transfer of leisure facilities in the UK: a review and research agenda

Lookup NU author(s): Deborah Forbes


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This paper reviews recent work on community asset transfers (CAT): a transfer of management of facilities from the public sector to the third sector, largely led by volunteers. The emergence of CATs is placed in the context of the development of community organisations and their relation to the state. Transfer has been stimulated by cuts in local government budgets since 2010. The review focusses on leisure facilities because these are non-statutory and so more vulnerable to cuts in public expenditure. The experience of CATs is reviewed, including: the motivations of local government and volunteers; the transfer process and management of CATs post-transfer; and the market position of facility types. The methodological approaches and theoretical frameworks used in research are contrasted; in particular, how these have balanced agency and structure in analysing a contested neoliberalist discourse. The practicalities of research in this area are considered before concluding with research questions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Findlay-King L, Nichols G, Forbes D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Voluntas

Year: 2020

Volume: 31

Pages: 1159-1172

Online publication date: 03/09/2020

Acceptance date: 06/08/2020

Date deposited: 18/08/2020

ISSN (print): 0957-8765

ISSN (electronic): 1573-7888

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s11266-020-00263-0


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