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Local management

Orkney - Stromness
Orkney - Stromness

In 2018, we launched a local management pilots scheme designed to encourage the greater involvement of Scotland's communities in managing the land and property near them.

What is it?

It's a scheme that allows us to form partnerships with bodies which represent their local community - local authorities, development trusts and others - and through them, give those communities a say in how some of the Scottish Crown Estate assets near them are used.

Through the pilot scheme, we can test different ways of working with these bodies, and learn from different approaches to:  

  • Managing assets  

  • Empowering communities, and  

  • Giving people more say in decisions that impact the land, foreshore and sea near where they live. 

Why is it important?

Involving communities more in how their local resources are used democratises the Estate, motivating them to see and act on opportunities which might not be obvious without that local insight.

For future local management projects to have the best chance of succeeding, it's important for us to find out which kinds of arrangement work, and which don't. The pilot schemes established under this project will test different ways of working - and give us lots of insights into how best to set up future projects.

Selected projects 

Following engagement and consultation with community organisations, local authorities and others on the structure and design of the scheme (see the sidebar for a summary of consultation responses) an application process and criteria was published in 2018.

13 applications were received, five of which were taken forward through alternative mechanisms such as leasing and closer partnership working, and projects from five applicants were given the green light by Crown Estate Scotland’s Board in the summer of 2019: 

  • Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn  

  • Forth District Salmon Fishery Board 

  • Orkney Islands Council 

  • Shetland Islands Council 

A summary of the preferred project applications and a map showing the application boundaries is available in the sidebar.

Completed agreements 

In autumn 2020, Forth District Salmon Fishery Board became the first applicant to sign an agreement.   

  • The Forth DSFB pilot is now live, and any parties, including existing tenants, seeking to secure agreements for leases or other consents in that district should liaise with Forth DSFB in the first instance.  More information is available here

In spring 2021, Orkney Islands Council signed a landmark agreement which will involve the local community in managing the seabed around their islands.  

  • The Orkney pilot involves an initial setup phase before entering full operation.  During this time all queries relating to seabed rights should continue to be directed to Crown Estate Scotland in the first instance.