The Chief Executive of Crown Estate Scotland, the public body that manages land, seabed and coastline and other property assets, is to retire later this year.

Simon Hodge has announced his intention to step down in August. He joined Crown Estate Scotland as Chief Executive in 2018, a year after the organisation was formed to take over the Scottish role formerly carried out by the Crown Estate.

Since then the organisation has run the first Scottish offshore wind leasing round in a decade, reviewed aquaculture leasing to embed sustainability measures, launched £9m in challenge funds, trialled local management and is on track to have delivered over £47m to Scottish Government for public spending.

Recently, Crown Estate Scotland’s decision to increase lease costs for finfish aquaculture attracted criticism from fish farmers, who saw the rent hikes as excessive.

Simon Hodge said, “It won’t be easy to step away from Crown Estate Scotland and from the fantastic team of people I so appreciate working with.  We’ve come a long way since Crown Estate Scotland was created in 2017 and since I joined in 2018.  I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved together and excited at the work we are doing with business and communities to help make Scotland a better place.”

Crown Estate Scotland Chair Amanda Bryan said, “Simon has over the last four years worked tirelessly on behalf of the business, helping Crown Estate Scotland as a new public body to become a highly respected organisation known for delivering economic, social and environmental benefits across Scotland. I’m of course very sad to know that Simon will be leaving us in August but am already working to ensure Crown Estate Scotland secures a new Chief Executive who will take the organisation into the next stage of its development.”

Recruitment for a new Chief Executive will start in due course.

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