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The Board of Crown Estate Scotland travelled to the Western Isles

Western Isles communities meet with Crown Estate Scotland

The Board of Crown Estate Scotland along with new Chief Executive Simon Hodge have travelled to the Western Isles to meet with local community representatives.

The two-day session was held on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 May, forming part of a programme of engagement with partners throughout Scotland.

Visiting the Isle of Harris, the Board initially held a lunch and meet with West Harris Trust, which manages 7,225 hectares of land. The community charity encourages employment opportunities, facilitates permanent housing projects through land sales and partnership developments, advances environmental protection and enhances knowledge about heritage.

West Harris estate was purchased by West Harris Trust in 2010 – the first time a state-owned crofting estate had been transferred to a community run organisation.

The Board then visited the North Harris Trust to see Gordon Cumming and Calum Mackay, and met David Cameron of Community Land Scotland. North Harris was purchased by the community in 2003 (25,900 hectares), with similar aims to the West Harris Trust – increase employment, address housing needs, protect the environment, heritage and install renewable energy.

Amanda Bryan, Chair of Crown Estate Scotland, said:

“It was a real pleasure to meet with the two trusts and with Community Land Scotland.

“We are committed to working with communities in Western isles and indeed across Scotland to help and support them in realising their ambitions.

“We’ll soon be launching our new pilot scheme so that local organisations can get much more involved in how Crown Estate Scotland land is managed. We want to encourage new and different idea so that communities can test and innovate to see what really delivers benefits for communities.”

The meetings were also an opportunity to meet with the new Crown Estate Chief Executive, Simon Hodge, who took up the post in April 2018. Amanda and Simon also met with representatives from Western Isles Council, Stornoway Port Authority and Galson Estate Trust.

Crown Estate Scotland is currently developing a pilot scheme, which offers communities the opportunity to have more say and influence over land and property in their area.  

Following the visits, the Board held a meeting on Wednesday 30 May in Stornoway, to reflect on the discussions. The full list of Board members, can be viewed on the Crown Estate Scotland website.

For more information please contact Erin White at Pagoda Public Relations on 0131 556 0770 or call Esther Black at Crown Estate Scotland on 07917 628 253.


Notes to Editors

About Crown Estate Scotland

Crown Estate Scotland manages land and property on behalf of Scottish Ministers. It works with people, businesses and organisations to ensure that the assets are managed in a sustainable way that creates prosperity for the Scotland and its communities.

The business started operating in April 2017, replacing The Crown Estate in Scotland, and pays all revenue profit to the Scottish Government.

Crown Estate Scotland manages:

  • 37,000 hectares of rural land with agricultural tenancies, residential and commercial properties and forestry on four rural estates (Glenlivet, Fochabers, Applegirth and Whitehill)
  • Rights to fish wild salmon and sea trout in in river and coastal areas
  • Rights to naturally-occurring gold and silver across most of Scotland
  • Just under half the foreshore around Scotland including 5,800 moorings and some ports and harbours
  • Leasing of virtually all seabed out to 12 nautical miles covering some 750 fish farming sites and agreements with cables & pipeline operators
  • The rights to offshore renewable energy and gas and carbon dioxide storage out to 200 nautical miles
  • Retail and office units at 39-41 George Street Edinburgh

Crown Estate Scotland is a public corporation which manages the assets on an interim basis until new legislation sets out permanent arrangements.