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.

Aims and Purpose


Crown Estate Scotland are responsible for managing national assets for the benefit of Scotland and its communities, in a way that is sustainable and that generates value in terms of money, social wellbeing, and enhancement of the natural environment. Since 2019, net revenues from activities within 12 nautical miles have been passed to individual councils, and each has been responsible for administering these monies for the benefit of coastal communities.


This study was commissioned by the Crown Estate Strategy Unit (CESU) of Scottish Government's Marine Scotland Directorate as part of a review process for the first two rounds of distribution of Crown Estate net revenues. The review process included two elements, the first focused on the formula used to calculate the proportion of net revenues distributed to each Local Authority (LA). This element of work was led by CESU working with other stakeholders, including the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA). The second element was to explore, understand and share the approaches taken by Local Authorities to use these revenues to provide benefit to their coastal communities. This element provided the basis for this report.


This report is divided into two main sections. The first section describes the background to net revenues, the research methodology, findings and lessons learned from the initial rounds of net revenue distribution. The second section draws on successes and challenges from the initial projects, alongside other wider initiatives, to provide suggestions to Scottish Government and Local Authorities on how to maximise impact in future rounds.


1. To gather information about the approaches taken and priorities identified by Local Authorities across the first rounds of net revenue distribution, including their approach to risk and innovation, how they defined and engaged with communities and how they measured impact.

2. To explore the drivers of their decision-making, and identify common themes, successes and limitations.

3. To share these approaches and findings across all relevant stakeholders to support knowledge exchange and peer-to-peer learning.

4. To showcase additional examples and approaches to innovation, impact and scale that will support future decision-making in relation to the use of net revenues to support a just transition to a net zero economy, the green recovery from the pandemic and the delivery of the blue economy action plan.



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