Innovation & Investment Hubs: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/02892
Date received: 28 November 2017
Date responded: 27 December 2017

Information requested

I would like to submit an FOI for the original business case and later amendments and any other documentation on the decision to set up a network of Innovation and Investment Hubs. I would also like to ask for the budget of SDI in each year from 2015/16 with projected spending in 2018/19 and 2019/20.


Please see attached at Annex A-C, the documentation you request in relation to Innovation and Investment Hubs. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance some redactions have been made to the documents because an exemption under section 29(1)(a) (policy formulation) of FOISA applies to references within the documentation.

SDI budget for each year as follows:

Date Amount
2015/16 £31.6m
2016/17 £30.3m
2017/18 £33.96m

There was no indicative budget for SDI for 2018/19 at the date of your request. Following the Draft Budget Statement on 14 December, this will be developed as part of business planning activities for 2018/19 and beyond.

Reasons for not providing information

Section 29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy):

An exemption under section 29(1)(a) of FOISA (formulation or development of government policy) applies to some of the information requested because it relates to sensitive information contained within the formulation of the Scottish Government's policy on Innovation and Investment Hubs.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is a public interest in disclosing information as part of open, transparent and accountable government, and to inform public debate. However, there is a greater public interest in high quality policy and decision-making, and in the properly considered implementation and development of policies and decisions. This means that Ministers and officials need to be able to consider all available options and to debate those rigorously, to fully understand their possible implications. Their candour in doing so will be affected by their assessment of whether the discussions on the potential locations of Innovation and Investment Hubs will be disclosed in the near future, when it may undermine or constrain the Government's view on that policy while it is still under discussion and development.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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