Supporting impact - Scottish Crown Estate net revenue: local authority use and insights

Net Revenues from the Scottish Crown Estate have been distributed to coastal Local Authorities for the benefit of coastal communities since 2019. This study was commissioned as part of the review process for the first two rounds of distribution of Scottish Crown Estate net revenues.

Annex 1: Background information on Crown Estate Scotland coastal community funding

Marine Stewardship Fund

Established in 1999, the marine stewardship programme supported community initiatives and scientific research projects which helped promote the long-term sustainable management of The Crown Estate marine portfolio. Since the programme began, The Crown Estate invested some £10 million in supporting around 500 projects across the UK.

The programme was split between two different areas:

Marine stewardship fund

Community initiatives aimed at improving and enhancing The Crown Estate's marine and coastal assets.

Marine research programme

Scientific research that underpinned The Crown Estate's knowledge of the activities it was involved in.

Coastal Communities Fund

The Coastal Communities fund was a UK-Wide Scheme established in 2012, administered and delivered by the Big Lottery Fund, with aim to benefit the economic development of communities in coastal areas. The main focus was to provide funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs. Though UK-wide, varying levels of funding were available to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Island on the basis of the revenues generated through Crown Estate Marine Assets.

In Scotland, two funds existed: A 'Highlands and Islands Fund' and a 'Rest of Scotland Fund'.

The Coastal Community Fund made awards to 89 projects throughout Scotland across the four rounds of funding since 2012.

All projects were required to contribute to key outcomes and had to meet a defined set of criteria. All communities were required to meet the first outcome, and at least one of the three other outcomes.

First Outcome

Coastal communities are better able to use their assets (physical, natural, social, economic, and cultural) to promote sustainable economic growth and jobs.

Second Outcome

Coastal Communities have greater capacity to create a sustainable economic future and are better equipped to adapt to change.

Third Outcome

Partnerships are developed to support economic innovation, enterprise and investment either within a community and/or across a number of coastal communities.

Fourth Outcome

People have more opportunities for training and skills development, including volunteering.

Comparison of funding for coastal communities

Marine Stewardship Fund Coastal Community Fund Scottish Crown Estate Net Revenue Allocations
Approach Funding and Support from Crown Estate. A Competitive, UK- wide Fund. In Scotland, 2 funds existed (Highlands & Islands and Rest of Scotland). Original funding method saw funds allocated to 26 eligible local authorities based on the length of coastline with a de minimis amount of £1000. The new method will be 50% on the length of coastline and 50% of the amount of revenue generated from marine assets out to 12 nautical miles in each local authority.
Established 1999 2012 2019
Funding Funding from Crown Estate. Funding derived from 50% of the net revenues generated from Crown Estate Marine Asset activities. Funding derived from 100% of the net revenues generated from Scottish Crown Estate Marine Assets.
Coastal Community Definition Projects had to be directly connected with The Crown Estate foreshore and/or seabed. Any coastal settlement within a local authority whose boundaries include UK foreshore, including local authorities whose boundaries only include estuarine foreshore. As decided by each Local Authority.
Delivery Funds are invested directly into community groups. Delivered through the Big Lottery Fund. Funds are distributed to Local Authorities to benefit coastal communities.
Match Funding Accepted/ Encouraged. As decided by each Local Authority.
Projects Accepted Projects had to be directly connected with The Crown Estate foreshore and/or seabed and had to add value in furthering good management in line with the Crown Estate Act 1961. Capital and Revenue. As decided by each Local Authority.
Eligible Bodies Eligible bodies included charities, voluntary and community sector organisations, social enterprises, including cooperatives and community ownership initiatives, local authorities, development agencies in the devolved administrations, local enterprise partnerships in England and private sector companies. As decided by each Local Authority.
Budget Bids of amounts in excess of £50k. As decided by each Local Authority.
Criteria/ Objectives 5 Priorities:
  • Access
  • Environment
  • Management
  • Biodiversity
  • Awareness
  • encourage sustainable economic growth
  • demonstrate that the proposal fits with the broad economic priorities of the local area, where possible linking to a wider economic vision which has private sector commitment and support from the community
  • demonstrate that the proposal unlocks a barrier, addresses a need or opportunity within the area
  • demonstrate, where appropriate, how they will contribute to green economic growth
  • provide clear evidence of how they plan to work with other key partners (in the public, private, voluntary, social enterprise or community sectors) to deliver project outcomes
  • Environmental enhancement
  • Emissions reduction or removal of waste
Local Economy:
  • Jobs
  • Tourism
  • Skills development
  • Diversification projects
  • Investment for community purpose
  • Climate change adaptation



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