Scottish Government international office information: FOI release

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

Information requested

You asked for each of the international offices following information:

  • The number of Scottish ‘embassies’ which now exist, as at end-August 2022.
  • How many of these are stand-alone in terms of physical buildings, and how many are rented from or otherwise shared/borrowed from the UK network of embassies and similar facilities?
  • How many people are entirely and solely employed by Scottish Government to provide services from these ‘embassies’?
  • How many people are employed by Scottish Government in partnership with UK Government?
  • What is the total annual wage bill of all people employed in Scottish ‘embassies’ and paid by Scottish Government?
  • What services are available to Scottish people when visiting the countries in which Scottish ‘embassies’ are located and which are not available to them in the UK network of embassies?
  • How many of the Scottish ‘embassies’ provide full barrier-free access to disabled people?


The Scottish Government do not have embassies but rather international offices which deliver on key priorities for Scotland.

The table below details where our international offices are situated including number of staff in each office and annual budget allocation. The budget covers staffing, running costs and all activities of each office as well as a wider programme of policy, trade and cultural events.

All members of staff are paid for by the Scottish Government however Country Based Staff are recruited using the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) recruitment processes in each country.


BUDGET FOR (2022-23)


Beijing, China



Berlin, Germany



Brussels, Belgium



Copenhagen, Denmark



Dublin, Ireland



London, England



Ottawa, Canada



Paris, France



Washington DC, United States



The total annual wage bill for all staff in our international network is £2,716,064, this is included in the overall budgets for each office outlined above. Please note this figure fluctuates across the year to a small degree, accounting for staff turnover and exact salary at this present time. You can find further information on Scottish Government staff pay remits here:- Staff pay remits - Public sector pay - (

However it should be noted that this figure contains more than just salaries for our Country Based Staff. The figure includes additions such as social security, tax contributions and benefits in kind which we pay for through FCDO. This figure also includes two interns who are employed by Scotland Europa which are partly funded by Scottish Government, they are not included in the headcount for Brussels above.

Seven of our international network of offices operate from the UK’s embassy or consulate platform in respective locations. These are China (Beijing), Germany (Berlin), France (Paris), Ireland (Dublin), Nordic (Copenhagen) the USA (Washington DC) and Canada (Ottawa). The Scottish Government pays an annual charge to the FCDO to enable these seven offices to be based within their buildings. This provides secure locations to work with and enables us to maintain close working relationships with our UK Government counterparts and the networks of the other Devolved Governments on platform.

We also have a further two standalone offices. One in Brussels where the space is shared with Scotland Europa in a leased office and another in London.

The international offices based within the UK’s embassies or high commissions operate in addition to the services and support available within each location, furthering the interests of Scottish businesses, sectors and wider organisations.

The work of our offices includes:

  • improving Scotland’s international profile
  • attracting investment
  • helping businesses to trade internationally
  • promoting and securing research and innovation capability, partnerships and funding
  • facilitating cultural exchanges and events
  • protecting and enhancing Scotland’s interests in the EU and beyond

Further information on each office can be found at: International relations - (

Our offices in London and Brussels offer membership services to support businesses and wider organisations, more information can be found below.

Scotland House London is a unique collaboration between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise (including Scotland Development International), VisitScotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It helps to build relationships and strengthen our links both within the UK and internationally. It also provides a platform for Scottish businesses and wider organisations as they pursue their commercial interests in London through a membership offer. Further information on membership can be found at:

Scotland House Brussels is home to the Scottish Government and Scotland Europa. Scotland Europa provides Membership services for Scottish public, private and academic organisations - EU policy insights and analysis, capacity building and engagement opportunities are supported by conference, event, and hotdesking facilities onsite. Hotdesking and meeting room access in Scotland House Brussels is available as a distinct Scotland House Brussels Membership, and our conference and events spaces can be booked on a pay for basis by external organisations.

The Scottish Government offices in Brussels and London, have barrier-free access to disabled people. 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. This is in relation to full barrier-free access to disabled people within embassies and high commissions.

However, you may wish to contact The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office at who may be able to help you.

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

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