The Crown Estate’s commitment to Scottish Islands has been reaffirmed in the UK Government Islands Framework, confirming the business’s key role in sectors such as wave and tidal energy and aquaculture.
The UK Government Framework published today reaffirms that the seabed is a national asset and that there are benefits to managing its use in a strategic way, including attracting inward investment.
Gareth Baird, Scottish Commissioner, welcomed the agreement saying: “We will continue to work with government, the Islands councils, communities and industry to sustainably develop sectors that are critical to Scotland including aquaculture, tourism and offshore renewables. The Framework enables us to build on existing relations with the Islands Councils and we look forward to working together for the benefit of our customers – many of which are local employers – communities and other stakeholders.
“The commitment to engagement reflects our desire to involve local communities in coastal activity through, for example, Local Management Agreements and foreshore sales, and in offshore renewables, where local authorities such as Western Isles already have a key role in developing potential energy sites.”
Framework commitments relating to The Crown Estate include:
- Islands representation on the business’s Scottish Liaison Group which is consulted on strategic priorities and engagement
- developing a Memorandum of Understanding setting out how The Crown Estate and the Islands will collaborate and cooperate on industry matters of mutual interest
- working in partnership with the local authorities where investments are being made in their areas
- developing an Engagement Charter which sets out best practice principles
- working with local authorities to explore the most appropriate mechanisms to maximise community ownership, operational control and management of foreshore assets within the terms of The Crown Estate Act 1961
- ensuring the Islands can propose projects for The Crown Estate’s annual aquaculture research and development programme (which for 2013/14 totals £250,000).