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Communities could have more control over aquaculture assets

The Scottish Parliament has approved in principle a bill that will give local authorities and communities the opportunity to directly manage Scottish Crown Estate assets, including the sea bed and almost half of Scotland’s foreshore.

The Scottish Crown Estate Bill will establish a framework for changes in the management of these assets - which include rents received from aquaculture licences - to deliver wider benefits and new opportunities for local control, giving local authorities and communities a stronger voice in the management of Crown Estate Scotland assets.

The Crown Estate receives revenues for marine aquaculture installations
The Crown Estate receives revenues for marine aquaculture installations

Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “At the heart of this bill is the desire to maximise the benefits of the Scottish Crown Estate for our communities and the country as a whole. It will open up the possibility for local authorities and communities to take control of the management of those assets which was a key recommendation from The Smith Commission.

“Recognising the diversity of the Scottish Crown Estate, any changes in management should be done on a case-by-case basis, to ensure assets are well maintained and effectively managed, with high standards of transparency and accountability.

“This bill represents a significant step in empowering Scotland’s communities and I am pleased that the Parliament has today decided to back, in principle, these reforms.” The Bill contains new powers for reform of management, including opportunities for devolved local management of individual Scottish Crown Estate assets, and wider reforms to how assets are managed.

Rob Fletcher

Rob Fletcher

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