Scotland’s coastal communities are set to gain from a raft of projects designed to protect the marine environment and stimulate economic activity.
Offshore wind, marine tourism, and seagrass planting are among the initiatives benefitting.
Working closely with local authorities, community trusts, businesses, and local people, Crown Estate Scotland is backing a broad range of grassroot proposals providing support in terms of financial partnerships and investments, grants, and the funding of new staff.
Activity budgeted for 2022-23 includes:
£300k for Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council projects including supply chain and strategic investment activity, plus £75k for Marine Scotland’s ScotMer (Scottish Marine Energy Research) programme.
£2.5m of the £3m Boat-Based Tourism Challenge Fund.
£120k for work related to coastal communities and marine natural capital. This includes efforts to tackle marine litter and plant new areas of seagrass.
£350k for this year’s Sustainable Communities Fund, which supports a wide range of local initiatives.
£67k towards the Scottish Marine Environmental Enhancement Fund (SMEEF).
£87k for co-funding roles with North Ayrshire Council (Marine Tourism Officer), Highland Council (Programme Manager for Fort William 2040), and Portgordon Community Trust, in Moray. All roles are supporting sustainable economic development.
The Scottish Marine Environmental Enhancement Fund (SMEEF), launched last month, will see NatureScot, Marine Scotland, and Crown Estate Scotland co-ordinating grants to assist practical solutions. These could include the creation of new saltmarsh habitat, helping protect breeding seabirds, and researching new approaches to the restoration of marine environments.
Esther Black, Crown Estate Scotland’s Director of Corporate Operations, said: “The health of Scotland’s seas and coasts are fundamental to how people live and work. Over 2022-23 and beyond we’ll be investing in a range of projects with local authorities, communities, and businesses, to help ensure coastal areas thrive. With an increasing focus on our seas to provide energy, food, and other essentials, it’s critical that natural resources are managed and cared for in a way that reflects local people’s ambitions and aspirations.”
For more information on Crown Estate Scotland’s work this year, please refer to the 2022-23 plan.