Scotland's Covid-19 inquiry has cost almost £8million so far despite not yet holding any public hearings, data shows.

Set up and funded by the Scottish Government, the independent inquiry will examine how the country responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was set up in February of 2022 but has been hit with a number of delays including the resignation of chairwoman Lady Poole, who was replaced by Lord Brailsford.

The inquiry is currently collecting the experiences of members of the public, and is yet to hold a public hearing.

However, due to start-up costs including premises and IT expenses the probe has so far cost £7.8m up to June 30 of this year.

Read More: What can we expect from the Scottish Covid Inquiry?

Hearings are expected to resume in February of 2024 and will examine issues such as pre-pandemic planning, the decision to go into lockdown, the supply and distribution of personal protective equipment and how the virus was dealt with in care homes.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Covid-19 Inquiry told the BBC: "Costs involved with establishing and running an inquiry include staffing and infrastructure, such as IT systems, equipment, premises, and resourcing the legal, policy and other teams required to investigate the devolved strategic response to the pandemic.

The Herald: The Covid inquiry is expected to take many months

"The legal team continues to carry out investigations and gather evidence.

"Work is ongoing towards the inquiry's first public event, a presentation on the epidemiology of Covid-19 to be held on 26 to 27 July in Dundee, as well as a preliminary hearing in August, and further hearings on the impact of the pandemic on health and social care from October."

At its conclusion the inquiry will both assess the reaction to the pandemic in 2020 and offer recommendations for any future such public health emergencies.