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Watch: Michael Sheen lends support to cross-party calls for devolution of the Crown Estate

20 Mar 2024 4 minute read
A group of cross party MSs calling for devolution of the Crown Estate. Left to right: Alun Davies MS, Peredur Owen Griffiths MS, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS, Carolyn Thomas MS, Llyr Gruffydd MS, Jeremy Miles MS, Mick Antoniw MS, Huw Irranca Davies MS, John Griffiths MS and Heledd Fychan MS, Dylan Lewis-Rowlands (Siarter) and Sarah Murphy MS.

Stephen Price

A cross-party group of MSs gathered outside the Senedd today to endorse the demand for the Crown Estate to be devolved to Wales – with celebrity support from Michael Sheen and Jerome Flynn.

11 MSs from Plaid Cymru and Welsh Labour joined Siarter’s campaign co-ordinator, Dylan Lewis-Rowlands, to demand that the Crown Estates be devolved to Wales.

The event, timed to coincide with the announcement of Wales’ new First Minister, Vaughan Gething, was a collaboration between MSs from across the political spectrum and Siarter Cartrefi – a Welsh campaign group.

Cross-party support

Siarter Cartrefi, a grassroots campaign organisation, in conjunction with other organisations and cross party politicians, hope to raise more awareness of the cause and to create momentum behind it before the general election.

Cara Wilson from Siarter Cartrefi said: “Devolving the Crown Estate was a popular theme in our community consultation and Emergency Housing Conference last year.

“Contributors to this process saw the need for the profits from renewable energy to benefit the people of Wales.”

The Crown Estate

The Crown Estate is a collection of land and assets owned by the Crown, but managed by an independent trust. Its profits are funnelled into the UK Treasury, and 25% of revenues into the Sovereign grant, paid for the upkeep of the royal family.

The Crown Estate in Wales owns about 65% of the Welsh foreshore and riverbed, and more than 50,000 acres of land. In 2020-21, the value of the estate went from £96.8m to £603m, reflecting the value of the land for renewable development and other projects.

King Charles (left) and Michael Sheen (right).

The estimated annual revenue in 2020-2021 was £8.7m.  As revealed by Cymru Republic, the value in 2023 was £853m. Since 2016, the Crown Estate has been devolved in Scotland.

Sovereign Wealth Fund

Siarter Cartrefi say that devolving the Crown Estate could allow Wales to address some of the longstanding challenges the country currently faces (such as child poverty) by creating a sovereign wealth fund for public benefit.

Cris Tomos, Siarter Cartrefi said: “We want to build on the support we have on this important issue.

“Wind farms generate both clean energy and substantial profit, but this money is leaving Wales. Communities across Wales, many in sight of these installations, are living in poverty, this is not fair or acceptable.”

Siarter Cartrefi’s campaign is supported by Michael Sheen and Jerome Flynn, both of whom have made videos to add their voices to this important issue.

Manifesto pledge

Vaughan Gething, newly-elected First Minister, included the devolution of the Crown Estate in his manifesto, as did his opponent, Jeremy Miles. Plaid Cymru. The Welsh Liberal Democrats, and the Welsh Greens have also endorsed the idea. 

Cllr Dylan Lewis-Rowlands said on behalf of Siarter Catrefi: “This is a forward looking, cross-party and non-party campaign focused on building a positive vision for Wales’ future.

“The devolution of the crown estates and proposals for its future can pay real dividends for communities across Wales.

“Siarter Catrefi is proud to play its part in the campaign and thanks all the MSs, councillors, and activists across Wales who are supporting the campaign.”

John Griffiths MS added: “We know that there is substantial need in wales, both social and economic, which requires significant resources if it is to be effectively addressed.

“The crown estates could provide significant dividends to help meet these needs.”

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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
20 days ago

Good on everyone involved here. I’m fairly sure it was the former Secretary of State for keeping Wales down Simon Hart who fired the starting gun on this one by stating that there was no appetite in Wales for devolving the Crown Estate. I hope he has the appetite to eat the egg on his face.

20 days ago

Michael Sheen stands up for Wales and the Welsh. Take careful note of how it’s done First Minister.

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