Annual running costs associated with FOI release

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

FOI reference: FOI/18/00522
Date received: 15 February 2018
Date responded: 15 March 2018

Information requested

The annual running costs and all annual costs associated with in 2015, 16 and 17; the annual traffic by unique users for the same years; for the business case for the website and for a list of all external contractors involved in creating content for the website for each of the aforementioned years and if possible for what they were paid and what they did.


The answers to your questions are:

1. Annual costs associated with running

  • 2015/2016: £75,267.83 (inc non-refundable VAT)

  • 2016/2017: £116,824.85 (inc non-refundable VAT)

  • 2017/2018:, £116,600.98 (inc non-refundable VAT)

2. Annual traffic by unique users:

  • 2015: 1,509,879

  • 2016: 1,484,449

  • 2017: 1,226,581

3. Business Case for website:

Some iteration of has been in existence since 1998. This pre-dates electronic filing which would house an original business case for the website.

However, as set out in Scotland's International Framework, one of the our key strategic objectives is to build our reputation and attractiveness internationally and to influence the world around us on the issues that matter most in helping Scotland flourish. means we can use our overseas presence to promote and celebrate our culture, education, values, heritage, landscape and economic strengths to build the Scottish brand and support greater exports, inward visitors, international students and investment in Scotland. We can promote Scotland as a place to live, work, study and invest to boost economic growth to priority audiences in USA, Canada, China, India, Pakistan, Europe and Japan.

4. External contractors creating content.

In addition to what is set out below, we regularly engage with a large group of stakeholders to request news and features for the site which is at zero cost to them or us.


Supplier Inc Non Refundable VAT Notes
Whitespace £15,792 copywriting, content population, digital design creation, photography


Supplier Inc Non Refundable VAT Notes
Whitespace £17,542.20 map design, content population, landing page template creation


Supplier Inc Non Refundable VAT Notes
Whitespace £43,550.98 new website design, build and population

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

Back to top