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Sport, austerity or choice in Scotland: An analysis of direct government expenditure on sport

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-214
Number of pages26
JournalScottish Affairs
Issue number2
Early online date20 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2018


Sport has been a devolved area of activity in Scotland since the re-convening of the Scottish Parliament in May 1999. Direct Scottish Government expenditure on sport is allocated to the national sports agency, sportscotland and for 2017-18 amounted to 0.14% of total government expenditure. 2017-18 being the third year of the 2015-19 sportscotland corporate plan. An examination of direct expenditure on Scottish sport is insightful for two main reasons: (i) sport is a highly visible, devolved and allegedly valued facet of Scottish society and yet expenditure trends show a decline in direct government sports expenditure after 2015 and (ii) while the Scottish Government may suggest that UK austerity is a key reason behind any explanation for a declining sports resource such a stance can be challenged. An analysis of direct government sports expenditure and priorities can provide an insight into whether the impact of austerity on sport in Scotland is myth, reality, choice or needs to be further examined on a case by case basis.

    Research areas

  • Scotland, sport, austerity, expenditure trends, choice, governments

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