Euan McVicar succeeds Amanda Bryan as chair of Scottish Government rent collector Crown Estate Scotland.

New chair named for Scotland’s fish farms landlord

Experienced energy, legal, and green investment professional steps up at Crown Estate Scotland


Scottish Government ministers have appointed Euan McVicar as the new chair of Crown Estate Scotland, the public corporation that leases out the seabed for salmon and trout farms, among other things.

McVicar, who has been on the Crown Estate Scotland Board since summer 2021, will start his three-year term in July following the current chair, Amanda Bryan, finishing her term at the end of June. He is an experienced energy, legal, and green investment professional and has worked in both the private and public sectors.

McVicar said: “Crown Estate Scotland’s unique remit means it can play a key role in Scotland’s effort to tackle the climate and nature crises while driving sustainable economic growth.

“The expertise of the team, the diversity of the portfolio we manage, and the remit to deliver social, economic and environmental value makes this an incredibly exciting organisation, one which it will be a privilege to chair.”

Climate advisor

He said Bryan had worked tirelessly to establish Crown Estate Scotland as a progressive, transparent, and purpose-led business since it was established in 2017.

McVicar was chair of the investment committee and general counsel at the UK Green Investment Bank. Prior to that, he was a partner and ran the energy transactions and advisory team at international law firm, Pinsent Masons, where he is now a consultant and senior climate advisor.

He recently served as general counsel and an executive committee member at Ofgem. He lives in rural Scotland, near Biggar, and is a director of The Biggar Gin Company Limited.

Rent rise

Crown Estate Scotland last year announced a hefty rent increase for fish farm leases, almost doubling the amount the industry pays annually to around £10 million.

Net Crown Estate Scotland revenues are currently handed to the Scottish Government and redistributed across the country, but trade body Salmon Scotland is campaigning for the money to be to be used for housing in the remote rural areas where the industry operates.

Crown Estate Scotland has pointed out that money already goes back to coastal communities, although not specifically for housing.

“From 2017 to 2021, over £28m from Crown Estate Scotland was passed by Scottish Government to coastal local authorities to support Covid-19 recovery projects, economic regeneration and job creation, flood protection, environmental projects, and more,” said the quango.

In response to questions at a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s rural affairs and islands committee last month, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said she was “happy to consider” Salmon Scotland’s proposal.