Information on the Scottish Government's external network of offices: FOI release

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

Information requested


You asked for the following information:

All Scottish Government offices/buildings based outside the UK which are open and their locations.

All planned Scottish Government offices/buildings outside the UK which are planned and their locations.

The number of staff and total salary bill for each of these offices/buildings which are planned.

The total cost of opening and constructing Scottish Government offices outside the UK by location.

The annual running costs and wage bill of each Scottish Government office by location.

Whether an Economic Cost Benefit Analysis has been conducted for the cost of each of these offices.




Where it is available, the information you have requested is provided below. The Scottish Government’s network of offices outside the UK are located in (a) Canada, China and USA and (b) a programme of Innovation and Investment Hubs in Belgium, France, Germany and Ireland. They act as an integral part of wider work across the Scottish Government, partners and businesses to support trade, investment, innovation and inter-governmental relations.

Documentation in relation to the overarching business case for the Hubs programme was provided in response to an FOI enquiry dated 28 November 2017 (ref FOI/17/02892) a link to which can be found at /publications/foi-17-02892/.

There are no offices planned, at this time, and therefore there is no staff and salary information for planned offices.
The budgets for each of the Scottish Government’s offices outside the UK are included within the Scottish Government's proposed spending and tax plans for 2019 to 2020, published on 12 December. They are set out below, for your convenience, for the financial year 2019-20. These budgets cover the total cost for the delivery of each office, including all Scottish Government staffing, operating and activity costs.

There were no construction costs associated with the opening of any of the Scottish Government’s offices outside the UK. Every office is located on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s embassy or consulate platform, with the exception of Belgium, where the office is based in leased office space.

Any costs associated with setting up the offices will have been absorbed within each office’s first year budget and are not identifiable as standalone costs.

Financial year 2019-20
 Belgium - £2,079,000
 Canada - £575,000
 China - £553,000
 France - £545,000
 Germany - £555,000
 Ireland - £525,000
 USA - £807,000


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 Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top