- 15 Jun 2021
Date received: 23 Apr 2021
Date responded: 11 Jun 2021
Total amount of grants paid to the National Trust of Scotland in the last 5 years by Scottish Government departments including by SNH – now NatureScot, and Forest & Land Scotland.
I am able to provide some of the information you requested. The partial answer to your question I can provide is that in 2020-21 the Culture and Historic Environment Division of the Scottish Government gave a one-off payment of £3.8 million to the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) which was announced on 16th August 2020 for the NTS to secure nearly 200 critical jobs.
This funding allowed the NTS to retain a broad range of expertise in its countryside and ranger services, as well as curation and education, and will ensure some sites proposed for long-term closure by the NTS could be reopened. The severe impact of the pandemic means that, unfortunately, not all jobs can be saved, but that funding was intended to go as far as possible to protect as many critical roles across the NTS estate as we could.
I can confirm that an additional £60,259 was paid to NTS in 2020-21 in relation to Bute House, the official residence of the First Minister. I can also confirm neither the Environment and Forestry Division or Forestry and Land Scotland have provided any funding to NTS in 2020-21.
Some of the information you have requested is already available online. For years previous to 2020-21, I would draw your attention to the annual publication of the NTS accounts which they publish online via their website - https://www.nts.org.uk/our-work/publications - which provide the relevant information. For example the 2019-20 annual accounts document has a list of grant funding on page 57. Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.
I can also confirm that Scottish Forestry, which is the Scottish Government agency responsible for forestry policy, support and regulations has also delivered funding to NTS. Over the last five years, Scottish Forestry has awarded Contracts for grants to the National Trust for Scotland to the value of £456,082.99 of which £39,216.25 was awarded for funding during the year 2020/21. Of this funding awarded within approved contracts, we can confirm that the National Trust for Scotland have been paid grants, over the last five years, to the value of £282,585.82 of which £6,526.39 was paid for works completed during the year 2020/21.
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. The reason why we do not hold the information is that some of the information is held separately by NatureScot, who are a separate public authority from the Scottish Government. You would need to submit an FOI request to them for information on their grant payments.
This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have all of the information you have requested.
However, you may wish to contact NatureScot at email@example.com to request any information they may hold. You may also wish to consider contacting Historic Environment Scotland (HES) at firstname.lastname@example.org who may also hold information of interest to you, since HES also have grant schemes which NTS may have accessed.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House