Western Isles progresses to more power of Crown Estate

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Eleven out of 13 applications to a new scheme - designed to encourage local management of Crown land, seabed and coastline - will be moving forward in partnership with Crown Estate Scotland.

Crown Estate Scotland’s Local Pilots Scheme enables community bodies and local authorities to test new and innovative approaches to sustainable management of the assets.

The applications by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Galson Estate Trust are moving to the second stage of the Local Pilot Scheme.

The Scottish Crown Estate includes seabed, just under half of Scotland’s foreshore and 37,000 ha of rural land across four estates. These are home to moorings, pontoons, fish farms, agricultural farms and much more.

The scheme received 13 applications for initial assessment.

Five of those will now go to the second stage of the Local Pilots Scheme process, with an additional six progressing to further discussions with Crown Estate Scotland about different types of agreements and partnerships that can enhance local involvement or management.

The five potential Pilot projects will now draw up additional detail as part of the second stage including, importantly, how existing Crown Estate Scotland tenants in the areas impacted will be consulted and considered.

Crown Estate Scotland’s Local Pilots Manager Tom Mallows said: “We’re very grateful for the thought, time and effort put into the applications by everyone so far. The standard of application was extremely high and came from a wide variety of organisations. It shows the appetite and enthusiasm that exists, and the potential to test different ways of managing natural assets in ways that benefit and empower communities.

“While we’re still in the early stages of the process, we’re really looking forward to working closely with these organisations to help them deliver on their ambitions, whether that’s through the Local Pilots Scheme or other routes such as a lease or closer partnership working.”