Repair and maintenance works carried out at First Minster's residence: FOI release

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

Information requested

Can you please give details of the repair and maintenance works carried out at Bute house (official residence of the first minister) since the 2021 lockdown provisions were announced including but not limited to a detailed breakdown of any repairs and maintenance carried out, the areas of Bute house that have been subject to repair and maintenance, the dates of the works with the associated costs.


Bute House is central to the category A listed buildings to the north side of Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. Charlotte Square features in James Craig's 1776 masterplan for the New Town of Edinburgh with designs for the facades by Robert Adam. The square was constructed between 1793 and 1805 and is now part of a World Heritage Site.

Bute House is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and under the terms of the lease, Scottish Government is liable for all repairs and maintenance. The conservation and care of Bute House is delivered through partnership and collaboration between the Scottish Government, Historic Environment Scotland (HES), National Galleries of Scotland, and National Trust for Scotland (NTS). These stakeholders are the current custodians of Bute House and all stand ready to deal with unscheduled repairs, which are not uncommon for buildings of this age.

Bute House is currently unoccupied. Between Wednesday 6 January and Monday 18 January essential safety work was carried out on the ceiling in the Dining Room at Bute House by specialist contractors employed by Historic Environment Scotland.  

This work involved screwing the plaster to the joists above to secure the ceiling following a recommendation by a specialist surveyor that the plasterwork should be pinned urgently to prevent damage.

An application of lime render was applied to the areas which had been screwed to reinforce these areas prior to decoration work which will be carried out at a later date.

The cost of this specialist work was £8,780.94 including VAT.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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