Share of Crown Estates profits should be used for emergency tugs

The Crown Estate should pay for Emergency tugs serving the north and west of Scotland, says the leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Angus Campbell.

The call comes as official figures released today reveal the Crown Estate earned a UK net profit of £230.9 million in the year ending March 31 - 9.6% up on the previous year and a record return for the business.

Mr Campbell said: “In light of these profit figures and the fact that a major part of this comes from the seas around the north and west of Scotland, I think it is only right that the Crown Estate should take some responsibility for ensuring the safety of those seas. The costs of the Emergency tugs are a miniscule amount compared to the massive profits they are raking in from the seas around our coasts. The income from fishfarms in the Highlands and Islands alone would more than cover the cost of the emergency tugs.”

The Crown Estate manages around half the foreshore and almost all the seabed around the UK.

The Crown Estate’s total UK assets are valued at more than £7 billion.

The UK Government is due to end the provision of the Emergency Tugs serving the north and west of Scotland in September.

Mr Campbell has also written the UK Transport Minister Mike Penning to remind him of the outcomes of the Transport Committee’s report on the future of the Coastguard. He is calling for a decision to be made soon.