New Members Appointed to Bòrd Na Gàidhlig

Deputy First Minister John Swinney has announced the appointment of Allan Campbell, Fiona Dunn, Jennifer Gilmour and Mary Ann Kennedy as Members of Bòrd Na Gàidhlig.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig was established in 2005 by the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 (the Act) and is the national body responsible for promoting Gaelic language, culture and education in Scotland. Its statutory duties include the delivery of a National Plan for Gaelic and working with public bodies on the development of Gaelic Language Plans.  Based in Inverness, the Bòrd currently manages Grant in Aid of £5.1m.  More information can be found on the Bòrd’s website at

Mr Swinney said:

“I am delighted to welcome Allan, Fiona, Jennifer and Mary Ann to the Board of Bòrd na Gàidhlig. The range of skills and experience they possess will no doubt prove valuable in helping Bòrd na Gàidhlig as it works towards its ultimate objective of reducing Gaelic language decline.

“This is an exciting time for Bòrd na Gàidhlig as they consult on and implement the third National Gaelic Language Plan 2017 – 2022. Additionally, in the last year we have seen the Gaelic provisions of the Education (Scotland) Act take effect, new Statutory Guidance on Gaelic Education published and a commitment to expand the provision of funded early learning and childcare from 600 hours to 1140 hours by 2020.”

Allan Campbell has been active in Gaelic language and revitalisation for over 40 years and served as a special adviser to the Ministerial Advisory Group on Gaelic. Allan was appointed as CEO to Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s predecessor, Bòrd na Gàidhlig (Alba), and continued to serve as CEO when the current body was established in 2005.  He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2008 by the University of Aberdeen for his contribution to Gaelic language development, and in 2010 was named Gaelic Ambassador of the Year by the Scottish Government.  Together with knowledge of Gaelic development Allan also brings to the Bòrd experience in marketing, economic and community development, and broadcasting. Allan is currently a co-opted member of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s Estates and finance committee, Honorary Chieftain of Inverness Gaelic Society and was recently appointed President of An Comunn Gàidhealach.

Fiona Dunn is a Gaelic development and policy specialist with a wealth of experience in delivering a range of language development initiatives within the public and higher education sectors. Fiona was the first person to hold a Gaelic Development Officer role within Scottish higher education in 2009 and has previously held Director positions with key Gaelic organisations including Comunn na Gàidhlig and An Lochran.  Fiona was awarded the Workplace Initiative Award in 2013 at the inaugural Gaelic Awards for her work at the University of Glasgow.

Jennifer Gilmour is a play leader with Cròileagan Dhùn Èideann. Jennifer is a Gaelic learner, recently graduating with a BA in Gaelic and Development from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Jennifer is an active committee member of Comann nam Pàrant Dhùn Èideann and served as its convener for two years during the successful campaign for a dedicated Gaelic school in Edinburgh. Jennifer is currently co-producing the City of Edinburgh Council’s Gaelic Language Plan and is a member of the organising committee of Mòd Ionadail Dhùn Èideann.

Mary Ann Kennedy is an urban Gael, born and brought up in the multilingual, multi-cultural southside of Glasgow. She is a musician and broadcaster, running a successful residential recording and creative studio – Watercolour Music in Ardgour, Lochaber, with her husband, producer and musician, Nick Turner. She also has previous experience in news and current affairs, having run the BBC’s Gaelic news service. Her own creative practice focusses on the Gaelic language in a contemporary creative setting, and her particular interests with the Bòrd lie in retention and reclamation of speakers, both learner and native, and in developing language skills through creative expression.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig Cathraiche (Chair), Allan MacDonald, said: “I am very pleased to welcome our four new Board Members to Bòrd na Gàidhlig.  Allan, Fiona, Jennifer and Mary Ann each bring with them a range of specialised skills and expertise which include community development skills, broadcasting, and practical knowledge in Gaelic education and language learning.  These appointments will strengthen the Bòrd as we prepare the National Gaelic Language Plan for 2017 -2022, and we look forward to working with our new colleagues in the coming months and years.  It is a very interesting and exciting time in the development of the language as the demand for Gaelic education grows on an annual basis and the number of Gaelic language plans increases across the length and breadth of Scotland, and audience figures remain very impressive between BBC ALBA and BBC Radio nan Gàidheal.”

These appointments will be for four years and will run from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021.

These appointments are regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

These appointments are part-time and attract a remuneration of £179.20 per day for a time commitment of 3 days per month.

None of the new members appointed to Bòrd na Gàidhlig currently hold no other Ministerial Appointments.

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public. As stated none of the new appointees upheld any political activity within the last five years.