Local management of Scottish Crown Estate moves a step closer

Local organisations seeking to manage land and seabed have now stepped into the final stages of a scheme designed to give communities more say on what happens in their area.

The proposals – in Shetland, Orkney, Western Isles and the Forth Salmon Fishery District – will see applicants take responsibility for more decisions relating to seabed, coastline and other land.

Crown Estate Scotland launched the Local Pilots Management Scheme in 2018 to create opportunities for communities to get more involved in managing parts of the Scottish Crown Estate. It is part of a wider step-change in how the Estate is managed, ensuring communities and local authorities have more say and influence.

Five of the original 13 applications were invited to submit detailed plans and four of these are now being taken forward to the final stages of the scheme. The other project applicants are being assisted by Crown Estate Scotland to help meet their objectives through other avenues.

The four projects moving forward in the scheme are from:

  • Comhairle nan Eilean Siar & Galson Estate Trust (joint proposal)
  • Forth District Salmon Fishery Board
  • Orkney Islands Council
  • Shetland Islands Council

Summaries of each project including maps of their locations can be found here. A further project with the Tay & Earn Trust will continue to be developed outside the pilots scheme.

Crown Estate Scotland Chief Executive Simon Hodge said: “We’re excited about the prospect of partnering with these organisations to help progress their proposals and enable them to deliver ambitious local projects. All the applicants have great ideas and we’re keen to help make those ideas become reality.

“The applications we received contained an array of ideas and proposals, which is yet further evidence of the wide range of local expertise and vision. We’ll be building on this scheme to find new ways of managing Scotland’s natural assets in a way that benefits all.”

Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP said: “This represents a significant step towards opening up the possibility for local authorities and communities to take control of the management of the Scottish Crown Estate assets. The geographical breadth of the projects under consideration shows the reach and importance of these reforms and I look forward to seeing these proposals develop in the months ahead.”