Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has welcomed the allocation of Crown Estate revenues which will see £1.7m coming to communities in the Outer Hebrides.
Speaking at a meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee today, Comhairle Leader, Cllr Roddie Mackay, said, “The Comhairle has been at the forefront of calls for reform of The Crown Estate for over 20 years now. Prior to the management of Crown Estate assets in Scotland being devolved to Scottish Ministers in 2017, all revenues from development in the seas around the Outer Hebrides went to HM Treasury in London. As a result of vigorous lobbying by the Comhairle and others, the Smith Commission of 2014 recommended that these revenues be returned to the communities hosting the developments and now Scottish Ministers are honouring that recommendation with £1.7m of Scottish Crown Estate revenues returning to the Outer Hebrides from the first year of devolved management. Alongside this, the Comhairle and Galson Estate Trust are working with Crown Estate Scotland to develop a pilot for local management of Crown Estate assets.
“We are now starting to see real, tangible benefits from our many years of sustained lobbying – our communities will now have a say in how the marine estate is developed and revenues from these developments will now return to those same communities. The Comhairle, as initial recipient of these revenues, will now develop a protocol for their disbursement to communities.”