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Council / SIC welcomes Crown Estate funding

Lerwick Town Hall.

SHETLAND Islands Council has welcomed news that £1 million will be coming to the isles thanks to revenue generated from the Scottish Crown Estate.

A total of £7.5 million is being shared with 26 local authorities across Scotland’s coast in the first year of devolved management of the Crown Estate’s marine assets.

Each council’s portion is based on the share of its adjacent sea area.

Shetland Islands Council leader Steven Coutts said: “The ability for our communities to benefit from the income that’s generated from marine assets around the islands has been a long-standing political objective for the council.

“We will discuss the details of the allocation further with Scottish Government before making any decisions around how this money will be spent in Shetland. This is welcome news and a positive step.”

Land reform secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “I believe strongly in maximising the benefits of the Scottish Crown Estate for Shetland and our communities across the country.

“The allocation of just over £1 million as part of a wider £7.5 million package to support coastal communities the length and breadth of Scotland is the latest step in achieving this.

“The new funding arrangement will see coastal communities receive 100 per cent of revenue generated from the estate’s marine assets out to 12 nautical miles, enabling them to better fund and support local projects and initiatives.”

The total amounts available to each coastal council under this year’s allocation, from net revenue generated from the Scottish Crown Estate marine assets out to 12 nautical miles in 2017/18, are based on a distribution method agreed with local government body COSLA.

Assets managed by Crown Estate Scotland include virtually all the seabed (out to 12 nautical miles), featuring leases for around 750 aquaculture sites, as well agreements with cable and pipeline operators.

The distribution method for future years will be kept under review as part of ongoing discussions with COSLA.

Responsibility of marine assets were devolved from a UK level in 2017.

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