All over England people are setting up Community Land Trusts (CLTs) that are helping to create a bright future for the community they live in now and for generations to come. Wiltshire CLT is the umbrella organisation supporting the set up and work of Community Land Trusts across Wiltshire and Swindon and in neighbouring counties. Wiltshire CLT is independent and not-for-profit Registered Society for Community Benefit. It is one of the regional Community Land Trust support organisations working closely with the National CLT Network to promote Community Land Trust development in England.
People are creating Community Land Trusts to take ownership of land and buildings and using them to develop a whole range of things vital to their community’s well-being – things like homes, workspaces and community facilities, as well as green energy installations, and plots to grow food and woodland.
Ownership is a powerful thing. Community ownership, where people come together to design, fundraise, organise and collectively achieve something they need, from a small local heritage leaflet to a major new building, is the source of great pride and strength. The strength lies in community cohesion and confidence, and the knowledge that having completed one project they can, and often do, go on to achieve much, much more to improve the overall quality of life for everyone in their community.
A Community Land Trust is a non-profit, community-based organisation set up to own and manage land and buildings that meet the needs of a local community. Through this Community Land Trust organisation (which may have one of a variety of legal structures) the assets are owned by the community to which it is linked and are used for the explicit benefit of that community. A key aspect of a Community Land Trust is that the land or buildings can never be sold off for private or individual gain. Through this mechanism (called an asset lock), the Community Land Trust aims to ensure ongoing and affordable access to the asset for whatever purpose it serves to meet the community’s needs. Investment that is drawn in remains in the community and, over time there may be surpluses that provide a community with income streams it can deploy to realise other schemes and projects that benefit local people.