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London 2012



Scotland House was a partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland, EventScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Creative Scotland and sportscotland, with input from Glasgow 2014, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Festivals Edinburgh, Marketing Edinburgh and Scotland Food and Drink.

During the seventeen days of operation between July 27 and August 12 2012, Scotland House played host to a mix of events and meetings to showcase Scotland to the world and maximise the opportunities of having representatives of all 205 Olympic countries and a range of business leaders and business influencers in London.  It was a platform for Scottish and international visitors to network and to make connections with Scotland.


Partners involved in Scotland House considered a range of options and the venue selected for Scotland House was the best base from which to promote and showcase Scotland's interests to a worldwide audience.

In particular, Dover House did not meet accommodation requirements for a range of reasons, including limited access to Whitehall during Games time and limitations in the meeting and reception space within the building.

The Scottish Development International office at 72 Cannon Street, London was not considered a viable location for Scotland House during the 2012 Olympic Games because of limitations in size and capacity to host a range of events and meetings.

Costs for Scotland House

Costs in establishing Scotland House operations were £404,613, split evenly between the six partners. These costs cover rental, catering and other costs including branding.

All costs were met from within existing budgets.  

By comparison the budget for Scotland House in Delhi was £315,000, split between the Scottish Government and three partners.

The estimated budget for the British Business Embassy was £3.28 million.

Ministerial Attendance

The First Minister Alex Salmond MSP; the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth John Swinney MSP; the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead MSP; the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP and the Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison MSP attended a range of events at Scotland House. They were supported by five core Scottish Government staff based at Scotland House, with other Scottish Government staff attending where appropriate.


Overall numbers

  • Over 80 events and meetings showcasing Scotland were held in Scotland House.
  • More than 3,000 visitors came to Scotland House.
  • Over 900 business leaders and influencers from over 500 companies were at Scotland House laying the groundwork for potential new investment or new jobs in Scotland
  • Consular representatives of 16 countries came to Scotland House to make or renew connections to Scotland.
  • A range of other key decision makers such as representatives of the International Olympic Committee,  International Federations of Sport and the Commonwealth Business Council all attended events. 
Key Outcomes

Scotland House provided an important meeting point for organisations to come together to learn about and promote Scottish interests. Business deals are not completed on the basis of one meeting. Contacts and opportunities made during Scotland House are being followed up and will be monitored by all partners over time.

  • The Cabinet Secretary for Finance Employment and Sustainable Growth hosted a reception for over 80 representatives of Scottish, UK and international financial services businesses sharing a platform with the Vice Chair of the Association of Foreign Banks in London, and the next Lord Mayor of London, Roger Gifford.
  • Businesses, and High Commissioners from a whole range of Commonwealth countries attended a Commonwealth Business Council event with His Royal Highness Prince Tunku Imran of Malaysia, President of the Commonwealth Business Council. Lord Howell of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was also in attendance.
  • The Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs hosted an event attended by key industry players domestically and internationally focusing on the value that the Creative Industries bring, showcasing the best of Scottish music and fashion. Key London industry contacts from education, media, designer development and manufacturing support bodies attended the stylish fashion show.
  • 75 VIP meeting planners and press attended a VisitScotland reception for senior buyers and trade press from London and the South-East who already drive considerable business tourism into Scotland and are highly influential in deciding where future events will be held. These buyers organise business meetings and events for the MICE sector (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) worth nearly £900m to the Scottish economy annually.
  • Over 70 media and business representatives attended a trade reception to focus VisitScotland’s forthcoming domestic and international campaigns, looking at how the organisation can support business and promote the Focus Years in the run up to Homecoming Scotland 2014.
  • Creative Scotland hosted a reception showcasing the brightest and best of Scottish film talent to over 100 industry professionals. Guests included Paul Brannigan, newly-discovered star of Ken Loach’s Angel’s Share, recent winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes.
  • 40 representatives from key partner organisations attended an event marking Scotland as the perfect stage for major events. Amongst the guests included senior figures from the International Olympic Committee and International Federations of Sport.
  • A Food and Drink reception hosted by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment brought together the major food service companies including international foodservice operators to make introductions about working together for 2014 and beyond. Mr Lochhead MSP published the Food and Drink 2014 Action Plan.
  • Over 60 ex-pats attended networking events held at Scotland House broadening contacts with various London based Scottish interest groups including the Caledonian Club in Belgravia, The Burns Club of London, The Tartan Army & The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
  • VisitScoland facilitated interviews at Scotland House with Metro USA, Ren TV Russia, Fujian Media Group Sports TV, Shimbun Press Channel 7 breakfast show Sunrise and France TV and NBC Universal.
  • VisitScotland, Festivals Edinburgh, and Marketing Edinburgh hosted a meeting at Scotland House for members of the British Guild of Travel Writers, the Foreign Press Association and the Travel Writers Alliance, providing the opportunity to learn about what is happening in Scotland in the next few years.
  • Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Glasgow 2014 hosted an event attended by stakeholders and key international and domestic media promoting the opportunities the Commonwealth Games will offer.
  • Sports Minister Shona Robison MSP met with Catriona Matthew, Katherine Grainger and Gavin Hastings before speaking at a networking event to promote Scotland hosting the Ryder Cup in 2014 to representatives from over 80 businesses and organisations.
  • TV presenter Neil Oliver hosted a media event in partnership with VisitScotland, Historic Scotland, Wild Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage offering an opportunity for the media to learn about the Year of Natural Scotland in 2013 and discuss Scottish stories. Key media attendees included BBC Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, Lonely Planet Magazine, The Guardian and Sunday Express.
  • sportscotland hosted a reception to celebrate Scottish competitors achievements attended by around 140 guests including David Carry, Jen McIntosh, John Hammond, Chris Lamont and Campbell Walsh, a silver medallist from Athens.  Also in attendance were the Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore MP and UK Sport Minister Hugh Robertson MP.

Scotland House also acted as a hub for a range of meetings to take place during London 2012.  In addition to the original programme of events, other meetings and events took place at short notice during the 17 days bringing the total of events to just over 80. Due to the nature of these meetings we do not hold all the information of those who attended.

Guest Lists

As far as possible the Scottish Government publishes guest lists for those who accepted invitations to Scottish Government led events. We do not routinely publish invitation lists. We are currently working with partners to ensure we meet our obligations in respect of publication of personal data under the terms of the Data Protection Act (1998). Subject to individuals’ consent we will update information shortly.