Subsidy control: guidance

Guidance to help public sector bodies to understand and comply with subsidy control.

Transparency requirements

The transparency requirements set out in the Act require public authorities to upload and publish details of both subsidy schemes and subsidy awards to the subsidy database. These requirements are a legal obligation which, if not fulfilled, could leave a public authority open to challenge (further detail on challenges can be found in the next section).  It is therefore of utmost importance that public authorities engage with the Scottish Government Subsidy Control Team, who co-ordinate this process for all Scottish public authorities.

Public authorities must upload the detail of every subsidy scheme they make, unless an exemption in Part 3 of the Act applies. Subsidy schemes must be uploaded within three months of the date the scheme started.

The threshold for the uploading of subsidy awards given under schemes is those exceeding £100,000. Any amounts above this threshold must therefore be uploaded to the database within three months of the date of granting. This is not cumulated per beneficiary but applies per subsidy award.

Subsidies above £100,000 made using Minimal Financial Assistance (MFA) and Services of Public Economic Interest Assistance (SPEIA) must also be uploaded to the database. However, less detail is required when reporting MFA and SPEIA subsidies.

All standalone subsidy awards (ad-hoc awards) must be uploaded to the database, and there is no threshold below which there is an exemption from the obligation to upload an award.

You will find templates for notifying schemes and reporting on subsidy awards in the documents section at the top of this page. All completed Notification of Subsidy Scheme and Transparency Reporting templates should be sent to

Please note: the Transparency Reporting spreadsheets should not be altered in any way. This is specifically formatted to allow bulk upload of data to the Transparency database and any changes to the form will prevent this action from being carried out successfully.

Once published, you can view all schemes and subsidies on the UK Government’s transparency database.

For further detail on Transparency requirements for the new Subsidy Control regime, please see Chapter 12 of the Subsidy Control Statutory Guidance.


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