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Interim Body to Manage Crown Estate Assets ‘Positive Step’

NFU Scotland’s Crown Estate tenants working group met this week, to compile its submission to the Scottish Government consultation on the interim management of the estates.

The Union, which last year brought together a working group comprising of representatives from each of the four rural estates held within the portfolio, has expressed concerns about some parts of the portfolio being broken off, which it feels would be detrimental to the wider rural estate.

The decision to devolve the Crown Estate to Scotland came following the Smith Commission report, with responsibility for the process falling to Scottish Government.

Following an extensive period of stakeholder meetings, the consultation, which closed this week, sought views on an interim management structure for the estates.

Scottish Government officials will reflect on responses to this, before further decisions are taken regarding both interim and longer term management of the portfolio.

NFU Scotland’s President Allan Bowie, who attends the main Scottish Government Stakeholder Advisory Group on behalf of the tenants, commented: “The Union has been firmly pressing the views of the agricultural tenants, who feel strongly that the estate should be kept as a whole during the transfer process and beyond. The agricultural tenants agree that an interim body managing the Crown Estate in the first instance is a positive step, however, there should be a review process built into this.

“Our tenants tell us that there must be recognition of the valuable contribution that the agricultural holdings make to the wider Crown Estate.  They provide an invaluable base for the rest of the portfolio, as well as huge benefits to their environs and the wider local communities.

“The Union’s working group was also very supportive of the interim proposals in the consultation, which suggested there could be a place for dedicated sub committees within the new management structure and this is very encouraging. NFU Scotland will be pushing strongly for agricultural tenants to have a key voice in this.

“It is clear that this sort of approach will provide a structure that is open and transparent, and allows a clear understanding of how key management decisions are made.

“This is a new dawn for the Crown Estate, and there is real opportunity in the direction of travel that Scottish Government seems to be considering.  

“NFU Scotland will continue to consult with its working group, and press strongly on the matters which they feel should be given priority.”

Note to Editors

  • There are four rural estates who sit on NFU Scotland’s Working Group Glenlivet Estate in Aberdeenshire, Fochabers Estate in Moray, Applegarth Estate in Dumfries and Galloway, and Whitehills Estate in Midlothian.

Ends

Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 201/16


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