Bute House refurbishment costs: FOI release

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

Information requested

"Given recent media coverage on Downing Street spending, over last 14 years how much has been spent by SNP Government on refurbishments of Bute House? What were sources of that financing and was that in excess of the annual public budget? If so where did that funding come from?"


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.

There have been no renovations or upgrades to Bute House at the request of the First Minister. Total costs associated with maintenance and repair over the last 14 years have amounted to £1,315,806. The First Minister does not receive an allowance for the maintenance and furnishing of Bute House. Funding comes from the annual corporate resource budget, allocated to critical repairs.

All works carried out have been essential maintenance or repairs, which is a requirement of the Scottish Government as noted above. All works carried out are also in line with Bute House’s status within a World Heritage site, as detailed below.

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.

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 scheduled, and unscheduled, repairs which are not uncommon for buildings of this age.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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