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November 15, 2017

Crown Estates start to go local

A long list of Scottish public bodies fall within the scope of the Community Empowerment Act, but one is notable by its absence - Crown Estate Scotland (CES). Following the Scotland Act 2016, control over Scotland’s Crown Estate was devolved to Scottish Ministers although a final decision has still to be taken about how these valuable assets should be managed in the future. CES is wasting little time in aligning itself with national policy, signalling both to local authorities and communities everywhere that it wants to explore much greater local control of its asset base.

Crown Estates Scotland

Crown Estate Scotland has committed to launch a new scheme that will enable local authorities, development trusts and other bodies to apply to manage assets in their local area.

The business, which manages land and property including seabed, foreshore, rural estates and more, has appointed Argyll-based Sarah Brown to help us develop new ways of giving local communities more control over decisions regarding Crown Estate Scotland assets. The aim is to trial different models and assess which ones work best in delivering financial, social and environmental benefits.

Sarah will lead on establishing a set of criteria so that organisations can apply to manage assets locally and will also ensure there is a robust process in place to gauge the success of projects that go ahead. A key part of Sarah’s role will be consulting with coastal and rural community representatives and other organisations and individuals who may be impacted.

The commitment to trial local management is in the business’s three-year corporate plan, launched this week, and updates and further information will soon be available at

Ronnie Quinn, Chief Executive of Crown Estate Scotland, said, “We’ve made a clear commitment to enable local authorities, development trusts and other community bodies to pilot local management of rural, coastal and seabed assets.

 “This is likely to involve different models of local management taking place over the next few years. It’s an exciting way to explore and test how communities can have more say over how Crown land and property is managed – and even before specific projects are given the go ahead, we will make sure that those impacted have a chance to share their views.

“Sarah’s many years’ experience in the marine sector and working closely with coastal and rural communities makes her an ideal choice for leading this work.”

Ms Brown has carried out community engagement with Scotland’s fishing and recreation and tourism sectors, including undertaking the innovative Marine Tourism and Recreation Survey for the Scottish Government. She was strategic advisor to the Coastal Communities Fund in Scotland and most recently the marine plan manager for the Clyde Marine Planning Partnership.

Crown Estate Scotland manages assets on behalf of Scottish Ministers, including agricultural and forestry land, most of the seabed, just under half of the foreshore and some commercial property.

It works with communities, tenants and partners with the aim of innovating with land and property to create prosperity for Scotland and its communities. All revenue profit is returned to the Scottish Government.