Welcome to The Crown Estate
Plans to overhaul property management in Scotland
10 July 2012
We have today announced that we will transfer land at West Princes Street Gardens and the rights to fish wild oysters and mussels to Scottish organisations, and change our operations in Scotland as part of an overhaul of our approach to property management.
Across our UK operations we have created a portfolio dealing exclusively with offshore energy and infrastructure, and brought together the rural and coastal businesses to harness their combined expertise in engaging effectively with local communities. In Scotland we have gone further to ensure the business is responsive to Scottish interests and to the needs of local communities. This follows the inquiry into The Crown Estate by the Scottish Affairs Committee, as well as discussions in the Scottish Parliament's Scotland Bill Committee.
Additional management changes in Scotland: In the coming months we will launch a retender and restructure process for our managing agent contracts in Scotland, covering our rural and coastal portfolio. Our outsourced property management means our agents are a key interface with local communities and customers. A new structure and approach will embed these agents firmly in the local communities in which they operate.
We can also announce the formalising of the role of the Scottish Commissioner, who will chair a newly established Scottish Management Board and take a lead role across all activities in Scotland. In addition, two new senior operational roles with Scotland-wide responsibility have been created to lead operations in Scotland from our Edinburgh office. Ronnie Quinn will lead on energy and infrastructure and Alan Laidlaw on rural and coastal interests.
Asset and property transfers: Following our transfer in 1999 of 25 historic assets to Historic Scotland plans have been announced to transfer further interests in Scotland to Scottish organisations, working within the constraints of the law: these are land at West Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh and the rights to fish wild oysters and mussels, assets mentioned in the recent Scottish Affairs Committee report.
Commenting on the changes, Gareth Baird, Scottish Commissioner, said: "We are serious about changing the way we do business in Scotland and the reforms we are announcing today acknowledge that we could have been more responsive to local communities in the past. They will ensure that in addition to delivering new inward investment, business and jobs opportunities in Scotland, our energy, rural and coastal businesses will be able to respond more effectively to the Scottish communities in which they operate."
Local Management Agreements: we also recently announced two pilots in Scotland for our pioneering Local Management Agreements (LMAs) with the Portree Moorings Association on Skye and Comann na Mara (The Society of the Sea: North Uist) at Lochmaddy on North Uist. LMAs give such community organisations, local councils and harbour bodies, the opportunity to manage areas of the foreshore and seabed.
Other changes we have announced to strengthen mechanisms for engagement in Scotland include:
- Accelerating the publication of our Scotland Report, to enable MSPs to receive the report prior to the Scottish Parliament's summer recess.
- Each year we will seek to meet with the Scottish Parliament's Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee and the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee to report on the previous year and discuss our business plans and long-term strategy for Scotland.
- We are developing a memorandum of understanding with Orkney Islands Council to improve co-ordination.