If anyone has cracked this (in a robust way) … I’d love to see it and probably nominate them for an economics medal!
Where we have looked at this before, we have focused as much on making sure the acquiring body has a sufficient governance process in place including – their structure – are they are a robust charity etc. What financial resources do they have to not only acquire, develop, but also manage a site (in this case I guess a ‘listed’ school … with all the FM things to think about).
Then an analysis of the business case … for example on financial projections and whether these are reasonable and robust – as well as what elements of commercial activity they have planned (so for example a community centre should be able to sub-let for a few uses, but not 24/7).
We have looked to allocate ‘points’ where there are social outcomes, although these are subjective. Is for example something that benefits a small number of specialist users, better than a general community centre that the community may very occasionally use ? We did also get some push back from people looking to acquire for an office use, who argued that creating jobs had a social benefit! I guess there may be some specific use!
So I guess I am saying, I think the focus should be firstly on …. does the acquiring body ‘work’ and and is it financially sustainable / capable of running the site (which will vary from an open field to a complex building) …. as for is is a community use better than a £1m receipt …. probably one for your members!