Devolution of the management of the Crown Estate in Scotland is a historic event that represents a genuine opportunity to change the fabric of Scottish society.
The Crown Estate in Scotland 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. Taking on the Crown Estate's role in the management of seabed rights out to 200 nautical miles around Scotland is also vitally important to being able to sustain the competitiveness of our marine industries and to continue to derive wealth from our marine environment.
The devolution creates significant opportunities for Scotland, local communities and industry and we need to take advantage of this major change. There can be a new focus on how we manage Crown Estate assets in Scotland and there will no longer be leakage of revenue from Scotland. We need to focus on delivering a new system that works for Scotland's future while also ensuring a smooth and ordered transition.
Opportunities include enhancing the financial and social benefits that we can obtain from the assets, ensuring decisions are taken in Scotland, based on Scottish priorities in a transparent and inclusive way.
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 Scottish Ministers such as community land reform. We also want to ensure that the views of tenants are listened to carefully.
There are challenges as well as opportunities. The way in which the functions are being devolved creates practical and financial challenges. The choices we make over future management will have impacts on the amount of revenue that will be available. Key questions for the future arrangements include who should manage the assets, what should be the approach to charging for leases and how can communities benefit from the assets? Tailored solutions may be needed for different parts of Scotland or for individual Crown Estate property, rights and interests.
This consultation is a once in a lifetime opportunity to help shape the future management of The Crown Estate in Scotland and how the revenue can be used to benefit Scotland and communities. It is vital that all interests respect other views on the options for change and grasp the opportunities by working together to agree practical solutions.
Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform