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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-13552: Peter Chapman (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 19 December 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the commitment in the SNP manifesto, what action it is taking to increase the economic position of coastal economies.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 24 January 2018

The Scottish Government is committed to supporting inclusive economic growth that will benefit every part of Scotland, including our coastal communities.

We recognise that Scotland’s regions and communities have varied needs with regard to developing their economies. Establishment of the National Council of Rural Advisers will provide evidence based advice to Scottish Ministers on the policies and associated support which can help create vibrant and inclusive rural economies, including coastal communities .

An example of relevant action by the Scottish Government to benefit coastal communities is use of newly devolved powers to propose changes to the management of Crown Estate assets to ensure community benefit and, where possible, management.

The Crown Estate Bill, which we will introduce this parliamentary year, will establish a framework for the management of Crown Estate assets in Scotland to ensure that local communities are able to benefit from the coastal resources of the estate. Scottish Ministers have committed to providing 100% of the net revenue from Crown Estate marine assets out to 12 nautical miles to enable island and coastal communities to benefit from these assets.

In addition to this, we have worked with developers of offshore wind farm sites to secure additional community benefits for our coastal communities. The Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm, which will create up to 90 jobs in Wick, has created a £6m Partnership Fund, which will be split between coastal communities in Highland and Moray. To date the Fund has granted £650,000 to help local groups and organisations realise their own project ambitions to support transformative community projects.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, off Aberdeen, has established a £150,000 per year community investment scheme. Commencing later this year, it will support communities and diversify local economies in the Aberdeenshire area.