Breakdown of rural economy support policy spending from 2017 to 2021: FOI release

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

Information requested

A list all of the policies (and the total amount spent on each policy) in the following Scottish Budgets which are considered to be targeted at supporting the rural economy.

  • 2017-2018
  • 2018-2019
  • 2019-2020
  • 2020-2021
  • 2021-2022


I attach a copy of the information you requested. It is contained in the document attached to this email.

Some explanation is helpful for the figures presented.

First, the data present expenditure figures for the years 2017-18 though to 2020-21. Outturn figures have been provided for these financial years, but for 2021-22, the figures are taken from the respective budgets as outturn figures are not yet available.

Second, interpretation has had to be applied to determining relevant budgets for inclusion. The figures relate to the ‘Level 4’ budget headings, as set out in the Scottish Government’s budgets as presented to the Scottish Parliament. Budgets provided are an aggregate of all budgets for each Level 4 (for example, the cumulative total for resource, capital and other financial transactions where appropriate).

In that context, the following budgets have been identified for inclusion in the request, as they are considered to be explicitly targeted at the rural economy:

  • Agricultural support and related businesses
  • Rural services
  • Islands Plan
  • Land reform
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • South of Scotland Enterprise

There are a number of other budgets where expenditure can have a significant impact on the rural economy: for example, budgets for transport, housing and digital connectivity. As these are national policies and not specifically targeted at the rural economy (and so include spend that was targeted at other types of area), they have not been included within the scope of this request.

For the purposes of this request, we have used the Scottish Government’s classification of rural/urban areas: Scottish Government Urban Rural Classification 2016 - ( We have interpreted ‘rural’ in the request to consider policies targeted at the ‘rural economy’ to include the following categories of area: ‘accessible rural areas’; and ‘remote rural areas’.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI - 202100245508 - Information Released - Annex


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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