Scots Crown Estate tops a royal 231m

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
13 July 2007, at 1:00am

UK - The Crown Estate, the sovereign's hereditary possessions, grew in value by seven per cent last year in Scotland to more than 231 million - but its net surplus fell by 1.2m, or 10.4 per cent, to 10.3m.

The Scottish estate represents 5.1 per cent of the estate's total UK net revenue surplus, which has risen by 4.9 per cent to £200.1m. Across Britain its value is £7.09bn.

The organisation's annual review reveals the drop in Scottish surplus was due mainly to cash-flow changes after a fish farm rent review implemented during the year, said officials.

The estate dates back to the Norman Conquest when William I took possession of all land in England "in right of the Crown". Today, all of its surplus is paid to the Treasury for the benefit of all UK taxpayers.

Ian Pritchard, head of the Edinburgh office, said: "The fish farm rent review resulted in changes in our cash flow which has seen an overall reduction in revenue in the year, while still generating £10.3m for the benefit of taxpayers.

"On our marine estate we have been investing in the future development of fish farming and offshore renewable energy. On our rural estate we have been working closely with partner agencies to protect the environment, while promoting local economic development.

"And, on our urban estate we laid the groundwork for a major new investment. Although only comprising four commercial properties in Edinburgh - including the Austin Reed building on George Street and 127-128 Princes Street, home to Waterstone's and Game - the estate's urban portfolio in Scotland generated nearly half of the income.

Towards the end of March the estate formed a landmark £680m limited partnership with Hercules Unit Trust (HUT), combining HUT's ownership of the Fort Kinnaird retail park outside Edinburgh with the estate's ownership of two retail parks in England - the first deal of its kind for the estate.

The partnership is managed by British Land, the UK's largest property firm.