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 5: Summaries of high-tier approaches (£200k+ per annum)

This annex describes the priorities, community engagement approaches and project examples from the high tier of Local Authorities by net revenue allocation, £200k+ per annum. This information was collected through desk research and supplemented by interview with the relevant Local Authorities. The Local Authorities are presented in descending order of net revenue allocation size.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

Net Revenues

Round 1: 1.7m

Round 2: 2.29m

Summary of approach

The funding allocation received by Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar will be allocated across strategic and community projects. The proposed funding for Year 1 and 2 is as follows:

Year 1

  • £100k to regional marine planning,
  • £360k to set up Community partnership boards across 12 forums (30k each)
  • £22.5k Athlete travel to facilitate mainland competition and training
  • £1,220k to 9 Wards for mix of infrastructure (£97.5k each) and community project (£38k each)

Year 2

  • £1,485k to community forums across 9 Wards to benefit coastal communities
  • £810k to Community Economic Fund (to grow Outer Hebrides Economy)

The Community Economic Fund will target three areas of activity:

  • Islands Deal Support (400k)
  • Community Economic Recovery Projects (100k)
  • Business Bridging Fund (310k) Ultimately this wasn't required, as businesses were in the main able to access other business support grants etc. through Government Covid Schemes. This was used to supplement the £100k for recovery projects. Projects supported include supported community infrastructure, food and drink projects, a community harbour project and Gaelic / heritage projects.

Coastal Community Definition

All communities are considered a Coastal Community.

Approach to Community Engagement

Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar hosted Engagement Events to work with communities to identify those issues important to local communities.

Community organisations could apply for funding within their ward if they could demonstrate through application that their project related to one or more of the following factors:

Employment, housing, transport, estate, growing old, access to education, broadband/mobile reliability, available childcare, recreational and social opportunities, accessible outdoor environment, career progression, lower cost of living, vibrant communities.

Applications for Year 2 close in November 2021.


Notable projects and themes

Supporting the development of a Community Partnership Board or other Community governance model in each of 12 identified areas - £360,000

Delivery of Regional Marine Planning and Crown Estate Asset Management - £100,000

Environmental Priorities

As part of the Community Economic Fund, funding will support projects as part of the Islands Growth Deal including the Island Centre for Net Zero Carbon.

The Islands Deal commits the Outer Hebrides to ambitious targets in respect of net zero carbon, with many of the required elements to be delivered through the Islands Deal. Funding has therefore been used on development studies relating to the hydrogen Energy Hub in particular.

Through the Community Economic Recovery Projects the strategy identifies areas of activity with:

  • opportunities for products and produce to be created closer to the point of consumption
  • opportunities to restore a crofting / community food development fund
  • opportunities to purchase additional quota to support the local fishing fleet
  • new ways to market and deliver produce and services to local consumers
  • opportunities through the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 for the establishment of Local Place Plans
  • opportunities for innovation around environmental designations to allow community control and a more appropriate balance

Plans for future rounds

Any unspent monies will roll over into Year 2. The model for allocating funds locally will be reviewed once Year 3 allocations have been received.

Point of contact:

Norman Macdonald

01851 822629

Key links and documents:

Policy and Resources Committee Paper – 11 December 2019

Crown Estate Year 2 Allocation – 21 August 2020

Community Economic Fund – Policy and Resources Committees Paper 30 September 2020

Area Forums Projects and Funding Application Form

Highland Council

Net Revenues

Round 1: 1.29m

Round 2: 1.74m

Summary of approach

The Highland Council follows the Scottish Government methodology of distribution, allocating 85% of their overall allocation to 9 area committees with coastline. As per the Scottish Government allocation formula, devolved budgets are set according to the sea area within each area committee geography.

The remaining 15% is ring-fenced for Highland wide projects and administration of the programme. Applicants can apply for funding through the Highland Coastal Community Fund, up to a maximum of £100k and a minimum of £5k. Generally, it is not expected that applications will be in excess of £100,000 grant from HCCF.

The allocation for Year 1 and 2 has been rolled together. To date around £2.6m has been allocated.

Coastal Community Definition

Applicants should be within 5km of the Highland coast. Applicants from outwith this zone may be considered if they are able to demonstrate coastal community/economic benefit

Approach to Community Engagement

Applicants apply through a 2-stage process involving an Expression of Interest and a Full Application considered by local councillors at Area Committees. Local support and wide community benefit are assessment criteria that all applications are subject to.

Eligible applicants include: constituted community groups, local authorities or public sector bodies, charities, voluntary and social enterprises, cooperatives and community ownership initiatives, development trusts, private businesses and places of worship.

Local development officers provide support to applicants with the aim of improving the capacity of the applicant groups


  • economic recovery
  • community resilience
  • impact of climate and ecological emergency
  • address rural depopulation

Notable projects and themes

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the allocation of funding had been directed to economic recovery and community resilience projects with the detail being determined at a local level as appropriate to the area.

To date there have been 72 local projects awarded funding.

Environmental Priorities

All projects should demonstrate that they have taken account of environmental sustainability, such as transition to a low carbon economy and/or how to mitigate, adapt or build resilience to climate change

Plans for future rounds

It is expected that funds will again be devolved to Local Area Committees for disbursement. A review of the initial two rounds of funding is to be undertaken to inform Members thinking around how to best focus/prioritize funding within areas and also to determine the value and demand for a strategic allocation for pan highland projects.

Point of Contact

Fiona Cameron

01463 702425

Key Links and Documents:

Highland Council Coastal Community Fund Application Form

Economy and Infrastructure Committee Paper – May 2021

Website: About the Fund | Highland Coastal Communities Fund | The Highland Council

Argyll and Bute Council

Net Revenues

Round 1: £1.158m

Round 2: £1.504m

Summary of approach

For Year 1, Argyll and Bute council identified 'live' projects that needed to be delivered but didn't already have the necessary resources. Examples included Tobermory Public Realm and Railings, a contribution to the Campbeltown Flood Defence Scheme and an allocation to Road and Infrastructure Services for essential drainage and coastal road improvements.

For Year 2, funding will go towards those projects that have a focus on regeneration and tackling issues that Argyll and Bute Council know the community want and need. Funding has been topped up to 2.35m and distributed to 4 main areas.

Interventions are more strategic in nature, e.g.,

  • funding put towards projects that may then unlock further potential investment
  • funding allocated that removes financial pressures on coastal communities
  • avoiding projects that are potentially a longer revenue burden

Coastal Community Definition

A Coastal Community has not been specifically defined. Approximately 80% of Argyll and Bute's population lives within 1 km of the coast.

Approach to Community Engagement

Though not all of the projects that are being delivered have had explicit community engagement, they have often derived from community aspirations and community need.


  • Environment
  • Community
  • Climate Change
  • Economic Development

Notable projects and themes

Year 1 – Flooding and Drainage

  • Tobermory railings and flood prevention scheme - £145,000
  • Rothesay pontoons improvement - £151,000
  • Helensburgh flood mitigation - £300,000
  • Campbeltown flood defences - £270,000
  • Coastal roads improvements, flood mitigation and emergency works across the area - £292,000

Year 2 – Regeneration

  • Bute & Cowal – Cycling, Sailing and Learning (£550,000)
  • Helensburgh and Lomond – Clyde St Refurbishment + Arrochar Car Parking (£600,000)
  • Mull & Kerrera – Tobermory Car Parking & Kerrera Road (£600,000)
  • Mid Argyll, Kintyre & The Islands – Public Realm Investments, Kilmory Industrial Estate, Climate Change Hub, Jura community Gigabit Programme, Campbeltown economy (£600,000)

Environmental Priorities

Greener and Cleaner Communities as aligned with Argyll and Bute Council's 2017 – 2022 priorities.

Plans for future rounds

For the future, half of the Year 2 funding has already been committed, other monies will be spent on small impact projects across several areas. Argyll and Bute Council may look towards more ambitious/innovative projects as prioritised projects are realised. This may also include greater community consultation in order to refresh their understanding of the community vision.

Other Key Points

Argyll and Bute Council recognise that in the funding landscape that Scottish Crown Estate funding cannot be viewed in isolation of other current funding opportunities.

Point of contact

Fergus Murray

Head of Development and Economic Growth

01546 604293

Key links and documents

Policy and Resources Committee Decision Dec 2019

Press Release 25th Feb 2021 – Council announces allocation of funding

Shetland Islands Council

Net Revenues

Round 1: £1.0m

Round 2: £1.35m

Summary of approach

Shetland Islands Council has established a Shetland-wide, Grant Aid fund with clear eligibility criteria. Projects should align with the priorities as stated in the Shetland Partnership Plan. There is a 90% intervention rate with a maximum of £100k, minimum of £10k funding allocation.

The allocation for Year 1 and Year 2 have been rolled together.

Coastal Community Definition

Coastal Community includes all of Shetland, and all projects are considered if they fit the defined criteria.

Approach to Community Engagement

Applicants can apply via a 2-stage process involving an Expression of Interest and a Full Application (or business plan >£25,000) reviewed by a panel meeting quarterly.

Eligible applicants include: public bodies, charitable organisations, community groups, industry-based projects where there is a collective need, but not open to businesses.


Priorities align with the Shetland Partnership Plan

4 key areas:

  • money
  • people
  • participation
  • place

Notable projects and themes

Allocation of funding to date can be found in the Coastal Communities Grants Awards paper.

Example of projects that have received funding to date:

Cullivoe Marina Pontoons £100,000

Wild Skies Shetland Interpretation Project £45,000

Grow Shetland £97,000

Environmental Priorities

Contributing to the net zero agenda through carbon reduction and renewable energy.

Supporting communities to develop projects which promote and develop local resilience in areas such as food supply, connectivity and energy.

Plans for future rounds

Shetland Islands Council may consider different intervention rates and thresholds at different stages of planning e.g. feasibility, design and build stages. Shetland Islands Council will also consider the net revenue funding within the funding landscape to avoid duplication of other available funds.

Point of contact:

Thomas Coutts, Executive Manager – Economic Development Service

01545 744 969

Key links and documents:

Shetland Partnership Plan

Allocation of funding to date – Coastal Communities Grant Awards paper

Eligibility criteria and guidelines – Public Paper

Orkney Islands

Net Revenues

Round 1: £773k

Round 2: £1.042m

Summary of approach

Orkney Islands Council have allocated Year 1 funding to projects that would deliver immediate benefit to Orkney communities. Projects had to align with clear priorities that form the eligibility criteria as detailed under Priorities below.

Coastal Community Definition

Coastal Community includes all of Orkney and all projects are considered if they fit the defined criteria.

Approach to Community Engagement

Though the projects being delivered have not had explicit community engagement they have derived from community aspirations and community need. Elected members attend community council meetings where there is an active transfer of information between local communities and elected members.


  • sustainable development
  • support growth and job creation
  • strategic coastal and marine planning
  • transition to low carbon economy
  • cultural and social wellbeing

Notable projects and themes

Year 1

Allocation of £130,000

  • Bag the Bruck – £35,000.
  • Marine Planning Partnership – £50,000.
  • coastal core paths – £35,000.
  • public conveniences – £10,000.


  • the council agreed that Scottish Crown Estate net revenue funding could supplement a Coronavirus Support Fund in support of local businesses. (Funding from 1st tranche)
  • the council would top up Business Grants (rates based on £10,000 and £25,000) by 10%
  • climate change officer post, at £70,000

Orkney Sustainable Fisheries received funding in 2020 to prepare a Roadmap for the future of the local fish industry.

Potential projects for unspent Year 1 Allocation

  • funding support for additional agricultural lairage at Orkney Auction Mart to enable logistics for islands-based farming arising from a wetter climate
  • investment in coastal protection and flooding infrastructure
  • infrastructure investment and management measures to support sustainable economic development in Orkney

Environmental Priorities

  • support the transition to a low carbon economy
  • support measures that mitigate the effects of climate change, adapt to climate change and build greater resilience to the effects of climate change
  • support and enable best practice to manage and make use of coastal and marine resources

A complete list of the guiding principles for the Net Revenue funding can be found at Proposals for Allocation of Marine Estate Revenue Funding – 2019 Paper, Page 5, 6.3.

Plans for future rounds

At Year 1 End, a fund was created for all unspent monies to be carried forward to year 2 and to be spent in line with the existing principles.

Point of contact:

Gareth Waterson, Head of Finance

01856 873535 Ext 2103

Key links and documents:

Proposals for Allocation of Marine Estate Revenue Funding- 2019 Paper

Policy and Resources Committee Paper -22/09/20

Aberdeenshire Council

Net Revenues

Round 1: 338k

Round 2: 428k

Summary of approach

Aberdeenshire Council allocated 50% of their Scottish Crown Estate net revenue allocation to their 4 area committees with coastline, providing more localized decision-making to their coastal communities.

The other 50% is allocated to a challenge fund under the operation of NESFLAG.

Eligible applicants include: SMEs (limited companies, partnerships or sole traders), Public sector organizations, Co-operatives, Charities registered in Scotland, Constituted community groups.

Coastal Community Definition

Kincardine and Mearns, Banff, Formartine, Banff and Buchan are the 4 areas with Aberdeenshire coastline that receive an equal share of 50% of Aberdeenshire's allocation of the Scottish Crown Estate Net Revenue funding.

NESFLAG Criteria - Project must be within 1 mile of Aberdeenshire's coastline and must have a tangible link to the coast and/or the sea and this can include projects related to the fishing sector and/or the marine environment.

Approach to Community Engagement

Aberdeenshire Council sought input from the community to inform a Council Policy on the use of Crown Estate Funding that would be driven by local priorities.


  • active travel/paths
  • tourism
  • economic development
  • community facilities
  • recreational activities
  • the Environment

NESFLAG Priorities

  • our economy
  • our people
  • our environment

Notable projects and themes

  • new value-adding fish processing equipment for Sutherlands of Portsoy (£19,000)
  • purchase of new boats for children's sailing lessons in Peterhead (£10,000)
  • new displays and interpretation at Macduff Aquarium (£35,000)
  • outdoor equipment, signage and access improvements in Collieston (£15,500)
  • an upgrade of the café and restaurant at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburgh (£18,000)
  • establishment of a monthly producers' market in Peterhead town centre (£4,200)
  • new access ladders at Portsoy Harbour and design work on access towers for Macduff Harbour's slipway (£19,500)
  • an innovative boat attachment which will collect seabed waste and debris at Fraserburgh Harbour (£17,200)
  • a new business offering on-board dining on a historical boat at Stonehaven Harbour (£43,500)
  • engine upgrades to safety boats for Aberdeen & Stonehaven Yacht Club. (£10,600)

Environmental Priorities

  • enhance environmental assets in coastal areas

Plans for future rounds

The funding framework was established in early 2021 and will be used for future rounds.

Other Key Points

Aberdeenshire Council would be keen to emphasise the need for a longer-term commitment e.g. 5 years of funding, even if this is to a minimum grant size.

Point of contact:

Linda Gerrard, PA to Head of Service

01467 539 812

Key links and documents:

New Framework for Aberdeenshire Scottish Crown Estate Funding Distribution - Press Release

NESFLAG funding Criteria

NESFLAG Funded Projects List

Report to Infrastructure Services Paper – March 2021

Aberdeenshire Council Survey – Input from Community to Council Policy

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Net Revenues

Round 1: 309k

Round 2: 416k

Summary of approach

Dumfries and Galloway has established a Coastal Benefit Fund, inviting communities to submit applications in request for funding from the allocation of Crown Estate Net Revenue funding. Applications are required to be for new projects, including feasibility studies for new initiatives. Applications can be for capital and/or revenue costs.

Three funding streams are available as part of the fund:

Two for Community and Public Sector - A smaller (total £75,000) and larger fund (£266,620)

One for Businesses - £75,000

The scoring framework for all funding streams will be weighted to support projects seeking less than 50% intervention from this fund.

Coastal Community Definition

Applications for funding must benefit communities that have a coastline.

Approach to Community Engagement

Dumfries and Galloway council opens the Coastal benefit fund to public and third sector organisations. The criteria stipulate that applying organisations must demonstrate tangible benefits to the safety, health and wellbeing and/or economy of coastal communities.

Third sector, community or public organisation must also demonstrate support from the residents of the of the coastal community for the project (e.g. letters of support, community consultation etc).


  • build the local economy
  • provide the best start in life for children
  • protect our most vulnerable people
  • be an inclusive council
  • urgently respond to climate change and transition to a carbon neutral region

Notable projects and themes

Raydale Community Partnership – Raydale Community Sports Hub (£18,750)

Aldouran Wetland Garden (£6,750).

Environmental Priorities

  • encourage understanding of how the way we live and work in the region impacts on climate change
  • empower our communities and stakeholders to make significant changes to reduce emissions and adapt to a low carbon approach
  • lead on the transition to cleaner and greener technologies
  • promote and protect our region's natural environment
  • contribute to a greener economy, maximising the region's green energy potential

Point of contact:

Derek Hextall

Ward Officer, Lochar Ward – Community Planning and Engagement Service

07834 567 869

Key links and documents:

Coastal Benefit Fund Application Criteria

Guidance Criteria



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