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The Crown Estate in Scotland

On 24 January 2018, the Scottish Crown Estate Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament.

The Crown Estate is a collection of ancient rights, functions and assets owned by the Monarch. The Scottish Crown Estate assets include a diverse portfolio of property, rights and interests. The new devolved functions include management of rights to the seabed, including leasing for offshore windfarms and rights over approximately half the foreshore around Scotland, and urban and rural property. The total value of Scottish Crown Estate assets was estimated to be around £275m in 2017.

The Smith Commission recommended that the management of Crown Estate assets in Scotland, and their revenues, should be devolved from the UK level. The Scotland Act 2016 made provision for that by enabling HM Treasury to make a statutory Transfer Scheme. The Transfer Scheme came into force on 1 April 2017.

In parallel, the Scottish Government worked with the Crown Estate Commissioners (and new body Crown Estate Scotland [Interim Management]) and key stakeholder interests to ensure a smooth transition during the interim period.

To support this work, a stakeholder advisory group was established which includes representatives from all key sectors with an interest in the Scottish Crown Estate.

The Crown Estate in Scotland

Scottish Crown Estate Bill - Stage 1 Complete: 19 June 2018

Following scrutiny of the Scottish Crown Estate Bill at Stage 1, the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee published its Stage 1 Report on 29 May 2018. The Committee made a number of recommendations and included recommendations made by the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee in their report.

The Scottish Government has responded to the ECCLR Committee’s report.

The Scottish Crown Estate Bill was debated at Stage 1 in Parliament on 19 June 2018. Following the debate, the Scottish Parliament voted to agree the general principles of the Bill.

The Bill will return to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee for Stage 2 consideration after Summer Recess.

Scottish Crown Estate Bill – Introduction: 24 January 2018

On 24 January 2018 the Scottish Crown Estate Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament.

The main aims of the Scottish Crown Estate Bill are to:

  • reform the duties of the managers of Scottish Crown Estate assets;

  • provide legal powers for the transfer and delegation of management of Scottish Crown Estate assets to bodies other than Crown Estate Scotland;

  • create a national framework which ensures local communities, local authorities and industries can benefit

The Scottish Crown Estate Bill seeks to achieve these aims by changing the duty managers to manage assets on a purely commercial basis and allowing them to take into account wider social, economic and environmental factors when making management decisions.

In order to create the opportunity for greater benefit to local communities from the management and revenue of Scottish Crown Estate assets, the Bill provides for the delegation and transfer of management responsibilities to other bodies including local authorities, other public authorities and community organisations.

These changes will take place within a national framework that ensures assets are still well managed, and to ensure transparency and accountability. The Bill seeks to lay the groundwork to allow these changes to take place in a phased approach.

The Bill and accompanying documents are available online, and the associated impact assessments are below:

Consultation on the Long-Term Management of the Crown Estate in Scotland

A public consultation on the long-term management of the Crown Estate in Scotland ran from 4 January to 29 March 2017. A consultation analysis report was published on 25 January 2018.

Interim Arrangements

A public consultation on the interim arrangements took place from 30 June to 26 August 2016 and a consultation analysis report was published on 24 October 2016.

The Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) Order 2017, approved by the Scottish Parliament on 30 November 2016, and made by the Privy Council on 15 February 2017, established Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) to manage Crown Estate assets using powers provided in the Scotland Act 2016.

On 1 April 2017, powers over the revenue and management of Crown Estate resources in Scotland were formally transferred to Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management). More information on the management by Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) can be found on their website.

Related Documents

Committee Evidence

  • The Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee: 6 September 2016
  • The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee: 17 June 2015
  • The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee: 27 May 2015
  • The Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit Committee: 27 May 2015
  • The Scottish Parliament’s Devolution (Further Powers) Committee: March 2015