The Network Support Grant (NSG) is a discretionary grant paid under section 38 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2001 by Transport Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers.

This grant is payable only on a local bus service as defined in section 2 of the Transport Act 1985 or a community transport service possessing a permit issued under Section 19 of the Transport Act 1985 or Section 22 of the Transport Act 1985. Full terms and conditions are set out in the relevant grant agreements with further details provided below.

The aim of the NSG is principally to benefit passengers. It does this by helping operators to keep their fares down and enabling operators to run services that might not otherwise be commercially viable, thus contributing to the maintenance of the overall bus network. It also contributes to the operation of community transport services, allowing people who cannot make use of conventional bus services to access local services.

Prior to the introduction of NSG, funding to support bus services was provided through the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG), which Transport Scotland administered in Scotland since 1 April 2010. During the COVID pandemic, Transport Scotland administered emergency support funding through the Covid-19 Support Grant (CSG) and Covid-19 Support Grant – Restart (CSG-R).

On 1 April 2022, the NSG and NSG Plus Grants were introduced. NSG Plus was a temporary grant which was introduced following the ending of the emergency funding provided during the COVID 19 pandemic. This additional recovery grant ran between 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 only, and supported operators to recover from the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Those organisations claiming NSG under section 19 of the Transport Act 1985 can find out more on in the relevant section of this guidance. For organisations claiming under section 22 of the Transport Act 1985 the general guidance applies, however due to the way those claims are paid, operators claiming NSG under section 22, again must heed the guidance in the relevant section.