15. In 2014 The Smith Commission recommended that the management of Crown Estate assets in Scotland and their revenues should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. This was done through provisions in the Scotland Act 2016 (the Scotland Act) on 1 April 2017. Legislative powers over the revenue and management of the Scottish Crown Estate were devolved to the Scottish Parliament and Crown Estate Scotland (known as Crown Estate Scotland (Interim Management) as it was known before 1 April 2020) which was established by Scottish Ministers in order to manage the assets. In parallel, Scottish Ministers committed to the development of proposals to reform the long-term management of the Crown Estate in Scotland and the Scottish Crown Estate Bill 2018 (the Bill) was introduced to the Scottish Parliament in January 2018.
16. The Act was granted Royal Assent on 15 January 2019 and will be fully commenced through a series of commencement regulations. The Act provides a new legislative framework for the management of Scottish Crown Estate assets, including new duties for the manager of an asset and provisions for changes in the management of a Scottish Crown Estate asset, or part of an asset.
17. The Act includes a broad set of duties and enabling powers to reform the management of Scottish Crown Estate assets. These include powers for the Scottish Ministers to implement the most appropriate approach for management of the assets through secondary legislation. The powers and duties also underpin the Scottish Government’s objective for the Scottish Crown Estate to enable the delivery of wider benefits to Scotland and its communities.
18. The Act provides mechanisms for the transfer or delegation of the management of individual assets to a defined range of eligible managers including local authorities, other Scottish public authorities, Scottish Harbour Authorities or community organisations. It is recognised that it may not be appropriate for all types of assets to be managed at the local level and that some assets may continue to be managed at national level (see image 9).
19. The Act enables individual decisions to be made on a case-by-case basis within a broad national framework, which will allow for the diversity of the range of Scottish Crown Estate assets to be taken into account.