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Devolved management of Crown Estate in Scotland moves up a gear

Words: Roger Milne
Coastal Scotland

The Scottish Government has started consulting on the long-term framework for the devolved management of the Crown Estate in Scotland.

Ministers are insisting that the devolution of the management and revenue of the Crown Estate in Scotland through the Scotland Act 2016 provides an important opportunity to increase the benefits to the country and local communities.

The Crown Estate includes a diverse portfolio of property, rights and interests that influence many aspects of rural and coastal life in Scotland.

The new functions being devolved include rights to the seabed and management rights over around half the foreshore around Scotland.

In the consultation paper, the government has stressed that taking on the Crown Estate’s role in the management of seabed rights out to 200 nautical miles around Scotland is "vitally important to being able to sustain the competitiveness" of the country's marine industries and to continue to derive wealth from its marine environment.

“There are opportunities for democratic renewal, further devolution of decision-making to the local level and for communities to benefit from the net revenue. The devolution also enhances our ability to align future management of the Crown Estate with other reforms by ministers such as community land reform.

“Tailored solutions may be needed for different parts of Scotland or for individual Crown Estate property, rights and interests.”

Cabinet secretary for land reform Roseanna Cunningham said: “This consultation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help shape the future management of the Crown Estate in Scotland. Good management of our land, marine environment and other natural resources is essential for Scotland’s future prosperity.”

In a separate but related move the administration has announced increased funding to shape future land reform measures and provide greater transparency. Overall funding for land reform will be increased by £3.4 million in 2017, with the existing Scottish Land Fund budget maintained at £10 million.

The consultation on the management of the Crown Estate can be found here.

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