The charity and social business team, lead by charity property specialists James McCallum and Catherine Evans acted on behalf of Urban Partnership Group in relation to its freehold acquisition of two community centre buildings, by way of asset transfer from the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

Urban Partnership Group has been providing community services in the Hammersmith and Fulham area for over 20 years from various sites, including the Masbro Centre and Edward Woods Community Centre. The charity has described the completion of the asset transfers as a 'dream' that has 'finally been realised', enabling them to continue providing invaluable services from these sites in perpetuity.

The legal process for achieving this outcome lasted approximately two and a half years, and included an application to the Secretary of State for their approval of the transfers. Careful negotiation with the local authority was involved in order to ensure that the terms of the transfers adequately balanced the rightful concerns of both parties. The final arrangements ensure that the current use of the buildings is preserved whilst allowing sufficient flexibility for the charity to continue working in partnership with other local organisations in order to provide the full range of services the community of Hammersmith and Fulham needs.

Community asset transfers are becoming an increasingly common means by which local authorities seek to put properties into the hands of the communities that use them, and the charity property team at Russell-Cooke have acted in relation to a number of such matters in recent years. The results are all the more rewarding in that they represent gains not just for our charity clients but for the local communities which they serve.