Crown Estate Scotland is investing £4.5 million over two years in a range of activity on its four rural estates, including new buildings and infrastructure.

The investment in 2017-18 and 2018-19 will help tenants in their day-to-day operations and will also benefit the wider rural economy in those areas.


Some of the works will support tenants in developing and diversifying their businesses, many of whom are situated in remote rural locations.

The targeted investment will in large part go towards upgrading, renewing and replacing agricultural infrastructure as part of the organisation’s ongoing efforts to provide excellent tenant service.

Some has been invested in freeing up a unit so that it can be re-let to another tenant farmer.

In response to tenant feedback, the organisation is also carrying out a condition survey covering agricultural, residential and commercial units on the rural estates.

‘Supporting tenants’

Fiona Simpson, asset manager at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “We always aim to support our tenants and be a landlord of choice, and this capital investment programme is further demonstration of that.

“As the needs and requirements of our tenant farmers are constantly evolving, we can’t stand still. We continue to work to find new ways of helping to ensure they have the facilities they need to benefit their operations, which in turn is good for the wider local economies where they are.

Of the £4.5 million, most is being raised from sales of residential properties and development land, as well as a small number of farms.

“For the longer-term, we will be speaking with stakeholders about a rural estate strategy. It’s important that tenants can input to this so we’ll ensure they have the opportunity to feed in ideas and comments.”

Crown Estate Scotland has around 115 farms and over 200 agricultural tenancy agreements spread across four estates. The body is responsible for ensuring that the land is used in a way which brings environmental, economic and social benefits to the wider community.

The £4.5 million investment will be used in a variety of ways, from the construction and upgrading of farm buildings to improvements to access and other infrastructure. Decisions are made in full discussion with the individual tenants involved.

Crown Estate Scotland is self-financing. This means that it raises money in order to invest. On agricultural units, investment often does not result in an increase in the value of the property or the income that Crown Estate Scotland receives in rent.

Some examples of how this investment is being used include:

  • Four new large general purpose buildings on farms at Glenlivet;
  • A range of improvements at other properties to prevent damp and strengthen roofs;
  • A contribution to Tomintoul & Glenlivet Landscape Partnership works;
  • A surrender payment to free up a farm for re-letting;
  • Major drainage and tree-planting works on the Whitehill estate;
  • A new replacement silage pit at a Fochabers farm;
  • Roof works on several farms at Applegirth.

In addition, a programme of electrical and asbestos-related works is being carried out, as well as ongoing improvements to farm water supplies.

A further £2.4m capital has been budgeted to acquire units when tenants approach Crown Estate Scotland.