THE two largest bodies charged with promoting Scotland’s heritage to the world have admitted that only around 60% of the goods that they sell in their shops and online are actually made in Scotland.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) and the quango Historic Environment Scotland (HES) have confirmed to The National that while they try to source products in Scotland, they have to go elsewhere for 40% and 38% of their goods respectively.

The revelations follow The National’s story earlier this week that NTS are selling an apron which has a highland cow “Coo Too” logo, but which carries a union flag and says “Made in the United Kingdom”. This is also printed on the Coo Too mugs.

NTS is also selling a range of Charles Rennie Mackintosh-themed jewellery designed by Paula Bolton, a Kent-based jeweller who has most of her products made in Bali.

One tourism industry source said: “People will be shocked at these figures. This is not like tourist tat shops selling obviously foreign stuff, this is the country’s two largest providers of tourism venues not selling enough Scottish products.”

The country’s largest conservation charity says their 60% figure compares very favourably to other retailers, especially high street shops.

That admission brought an immediate rebuke from Ruth Watson, founder of Keep Scotland the Brand, who said: “Tourists coming to Scotland and visiting National Trust facilities want to buy quality Scottish products. It is very disappointing that the National Trust thinks 60% is good enough.

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“If the National Trust is not able to source quality Scottish products then perhaps they should get an agent to find them because you can’t tell me that in a country that produces beautiful jewellery, fabrics and crafts that they can’t find a supplier?”

HES says it sources more than 62% of its goods in Scotland.

Watson said: “Scotland is a land of heritage but there is so much in Scotland which isn’t just looking backwards. Textile and jewellery design and creative flair that take traditional techniques and give them a modern twist, that’s what they should be promoting.

“Surely the two agencies which are tasked with promoting Scotland and Scottish heritage should be working harder to keep Scotland the brand.”

A spokesperson for NTS said: “The National Trust for Scotland takes pride in working with Scottish suppliers and we have thousands of their products on offer in our shops all over the country.

“More than 60% of our suppliers are Scottish – either making in Scotland or Scottish-based businesses – and this makes up the bulk of our turnover. This pool is always expanding.

“All other suppliers are based within the rest of the UK.

“We celebrate our links with local suppliers and label products accordingly, as we know our supporters are really interested in where their purchases were made.”

An HES spokesperson said: “We pride ourselves on working with and promoting Scottish suppliers whenever possible and over 62% of our products are Scottish.

“We also work closely with partners such as Craft Scotland to identify and encourage new opportunities to showcase and champion new and upcoming Scottish talent.”