The Scottish Crown Estate Net Revenues scheme is an important milestone in
Scottish Government's commitment to empowering our coastal and island communities. The COVID-19 pandemic hit only a few months after the first round of net revenues was issued, causing huge challenges for Local Authorities and having a significant impact on their early planning for net revenue use. Against this backdrop, it is encouraging to see such levels of thought and imagination put into the approaches developed across Local Authorities for using the net revenue payments to deliver benefits to communities.
As this study notes, the pandemic is not the only emergency we face. The climate and nature emergencies are likely to be particularly keenly felt by our coastal and island communities, and will require action from the whole of society. We need to act quickly and at scale to tackle these emergencies, and the Scottish Crown Estate net revenues will play a key role in supporting communities to help address these challenges. The findings of this report will help us, together with Local Authorities, make sure the right decisions are made for the Crown Estate net revenues to have the maximum positive impact.
I am encouraged by the level of constructive engagement by Local Authorities with the development of this report and the learning which we can take from it. I will be working with colleagues across Scottish Government including Marine Scotland Directorate, and COSLA, to consider and respond to the report's findings. In doing so, I will be guided by our commitment to address the climate and nature emergencies and ensure a just transition to net zero for communities, and the need to identify approaches that have larger scale impact.
The third round of net revenue payments will begin shortly. As we move forward, strategic approaches such as cross-border activity between Local Authorities and innovation will be key to achieving the change we need to work towards a green recovery, thriving blue economy and just transition to net zero.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this report for their collaborative efforts, during a period of unprecedented challenges for both people and organisations. My particular thanks to COSLA and to Local Authorities for their support for, and participation in this process. I look forward to working together on using its findings to maximise the potential of Scottish Crown Estate net revenues for communities going forwards.
Màiri McAllan MSP
Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform