Governance

Good corporate governance is the cornerstone of how The Crown Estate operates and pursues its business objectives. It is unique in its position as a public body sitting outside Government, and a statutory corporation operating on a commercial basis. There is no single set of standards governing its corporate governance; instead it seeks to apply the standards that are most appropriate to the various elements of its business in pursuit of applying best practice.

The Crown Estate is committed to business integrity, high ethical values and professionalism across all its activities - all in accordance with the core values of commercialism, integrity and stewardship. As an essential part of this commitment, The Crown Estate recognises the importance of high standards of governance and has put in place a corporate framework document setting out the basis on which it operates and the formal structure for decision-making.

The UK Corporate Governance Code issued by the Financial Reporting Council is widely acknowledged as representing best practice in governance. Although The Crown Estate is not obliged to comply with the requirements of the Code, its Board nevertheless supports the principles and provisions set out in the Code; and in so far as the code provisions are applicable to the circumstances of the organisation, it seeks to comply with the code where this is appropriate. Many areas of The Crown Estate's governance, however, are governed by the Crown Estate Act 1961, HM Treasury guidance or other government guidance where relevant/appropriate.

Crown Estate Act 1961 (PDF, 0.14 MB)

The duties of the Commissioners are to maintain The Crown Estate as an estate in land (with such cash or investments as may be required for the discharge of their functions) and to maintain and enhance its value and the return obtained from it, but with due regard to the requirements of good management. Under the Civil List Act 1952 the net income from The Crown Estate, after defraying costs of collection and management, is required to be paid into the Treasury and made part of the Consolidated Fund (general government revenues). The Commissioners have authority to do on behalf of the Crown in relation to The Crown Estate all such acts as belong to the Crown's right of ownership, subject only to the detailed restrictions set out in the Act. The Board must comply with such directions, as to the discharge of their functions under the Act, as may be given to them by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Commissioners submit annually to the Treasury a forecast of their activities in a corporate plan covering the following and two ensuing years.

The Crown Estate is not the property of the Government, nor is it the Sovereign's private estate. It is part of the hereditary possessions of the Sovereign in right of the Crown. It is a statutory corporation and not a company for the purposes of the Companies Act and may not hold assets other than in land, gilts or cash. Investment in equities or outside the United Kingdom is not permitted. The Crown Estate has no general powers to borrow, either for capital purposes or for working balances, and there is thus no external indebtedness in the balance sheet. Under the Crown Estate Act 1961 (First Schedule, para. 5) monies are provided by Parliament (Resource Finance) towards the cost of the Commissioners' salaries and the expense of their office.