Carina Skropke

Carina Skropke

Community ownership of physical assets in changing times

Community Ownership is an essential element to address ever increasing social challenges and to transition to a more sustainable society. However, there has been to date a lack of research which critically examines the role of community ownership. This risks policymakers and other interested institutions drawing a too simplistic, positive picture of transferring ownership to communities as the one great solution to empower people to help themselves.

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the context for communities and organisations that own physical assets. It is arguably now less clear how to use assets to benefit local communities as it might have been pre-COVID -19, and whether similar outcomes can be achieved through alternative means. Also, in many cases it is less clear how income will be generated to cover the running costs of assets as well as the wider operational costs of running an organisation. Although, the outlook is not necessarily negative, new business models for organisations and communities may be needed to account for the maintenance of physical property and to meet the community needs emerging in the post-COVID-19 ‘new normal’.

This research project aims to explore the phenomenon of community ownership of assets in these changing times by (i) examining the local context, role and impact of ownership on your organisation and community; (ii) understanding what this means to the organisation and the community; (iii) identifying how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected organisations and activities; and (iv) exploring organisation’s potential role in post-COVID recovery.

Funded in collaboration with Power to Change.

Contact details

0114 225 3073


Ed Ferrari (Main supervisor)
Tom Archer; Ian Wilson (Secondary supervisors)