“Profits made from Wales’ natural resources should flow to Wales to boost our economy” – Delyth Jewell MS

Plaid Cymru is taking a debate to the Senedd today (Wednesday 12 July) to call for the devolution of powers over the management of the Crown Estate and its assets in Wales.

Revenue from the Crown Estate, valued at over £600m in 2021, flows straight to the UK Treasury.

The Sovereign Grant, which is taken from public spending to cover the expenses of the royal household, is determined as a proportion of Crown Estate profits.

This has been set at 25% since 2017/18, which means that the Sovereign Grant paid to the royal family this year will be worth a record £110m, based on the fact that the Crown Estate registered record profits in 2022/23.

Delyth Jewell MS, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on energy and the environment has said that “profits from Scotland’s natural resources goes to the Scottish Government - why not in Wales?

Ms Jewell says that the money could be used to help create well-paid green jobs, further research into solutions to tackle the climate crisis, and help Wales reach its net zero targets.

One such opportunity could be investment in a research vessel, the Prince Madog, which would offer Welsh scientists the opportunity to understand more about Wales’ coastline, both offshore and the near shore environment.

Plaid Cymru spokesperson for Energy and the Environment, Delyth Jewell MS said:

“Wales’ natural resources should be controlled by Wales for the benefit of the communities of Wales, not Westminster.

“This is no more true than with the Crown Estate – a company which holds assets in Wales, valued at more than £600m in 2021, and yet the profits of which go straight to the UK Treasury.

“Profits made from Wales’ natural resources should be kept in Wales to boost our economy, not that of the UK Treasury. It should be as simple as that. It’s the case in Scotland, where those powers have been transferred and the revenue from Scottish assets now go straight to the Scottish Government.

“That’s why we’re calling for those powers to be devolved to Wales. With that money, thousands of well-paid green jobs could be created, research into solutions to tackle the climate crisis could be furthered, and opportunities to reap benefits from our own natural resources could be maximised.

“Ultimately, it’s the people of Wales who should be able to direct how best to benefit from that economic opportunity – not Westminster, and this starts with the Senedd voting for Plaid Cymru’s motion to demand power over the Crown Estate.”

Speaking about the Prince Madog, a research vessel commissioned by Bangor Uni that enables UK's marine scientists to study the biology, chemistry, geology and physics of the seas, Dr Michael Roberts, R & D Manager, Centre for Applied Marine Sciences at Bangor University, said:

“The Prince Madog has a real role to play in maximising Wales’ benefit of its natural resources. The ship has the capacity to research the offshore environment in a huge amount of detail – through mapping the sea bed so that we can better understand what it’s made of and the physical processes that operate within it.

“We also have capacity to look at the near shore environment – the difficult to access areas using a small boat with portable multi beam systems.

“It’s important that this mapping work is done so that we have a better understanding of those environments and how to manage and exploit them in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way - it has the potential to help bring economic and environmental benefits to Wales.

“However, we are only in this position because of funding from the EU. Without further funding to utilise all this, an opportunity will be lost in a relatively short space of time.”