Bòrd na Gàidhlig has made significant strides in promoting and supporting Gaelic language and culture in Scotland, the organisation’s 2018-19 annual report has revealed. It also demonstrates how Gaelic development contributes strongly to Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework.
The non-departmental public body helped thousands more children and young people learn and use Gaelic in the course of their daily lives over the course of the last financial year. It also achieved an increase in the number of adults learning or enhancing their Gaelic skills nationally.
Bòrd na Gàidhlig is working closely with 70 public authorities, with 54 of these having approved Gaelic language plans. In its stakeholder survey, Bòrd na Gàidhlig received a 100% full or partially satisfied rating from stakeholders, with none expressing any dissatisfaction,
According to the report, Bòrd na Gàidhlig received a total Grant-in-Aid allocation of just under £5.2 million – the financial allocation Bòrd na Gàidhlig is required to operate within by Scottish Ministers.
Of that total, £1.4 million covered core running costs, while £2.5 million went to Gaelic development funds – including community funding for people, projects and groups, including its Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd (Community Grant Scheme) – and £1.1 million towards the Gaelic Language Plans Implementation Fund.
In 2018-2019, Bòrd na Gàidhlig continued its support for people to develop their Gaelic skills at any age and these opportunities included: Supporting seven placements throughout Scotland in the Year of Young People 2018 in organisations such as Galson Estate Trust, Young Scot, An Àirigh, the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, An Lanntair, Taigh Chearsabhagh and Theatre Gu Leòr. They also provided funding for the employment of a Digital Officer within MG ALBA who oversees LearnGaelic.scot, an integral website for Gaelic learners and speakers alike boasting around 30,000 regular users every month.
Interim Chair Mary MacInnes said Bòrd na Gàidhlig continued to work hard on implementing its ambitious Corporate Plan 2018-23, which sets out ways to get more people using Gaelic more often and in more situations.
She added that thanks to the new working group, working under the banner ‘a Faster Rate of Progress’, other public bodies had also unveiled commitments to boosting the profile and use of Gaelic in Scotland. These included VisitScotland publishing its first ever Gaelic Tourism Strategy, and Police Scotland adopting Gaelic in its new logo. This has dramatically increased the awareness of Gaelic throughout Scotland.
She said: “The annual report and accounts for Bòrd na Gàidhlig detail the significant progress we have made in promoting and supporting the Gaelic language and culture.
“It has been heartening to see participation in learning and using Gaelic continue to grow, particularly among younger language activists, and many public bodies create their own Gaelic plans. The impact of these on the visibility and normalisation of Gaelic cannot be understated. Together, we are ensuring Gaelic’s place at the heart of Scottish national life.”
Chief executive Shona MacLennan cited work being undertaken to improve the organisation. She said: “We recognised the need to develop our leadership skills and work to increase openness and transparency across the organisation.
“We have been addressing these issues through the commissioning of a review of our remit and leadership structure, alongside a programme of development for senior managers. We also conducted an annual staff survey where we recognised a need to improve communication, engagement and wellbeing of our staff. In order to address these, we are working towards the Investors in People standard.”
“Our work shows how Bòrd na Gàidhlig is committed to seeing Gaelic develop and flourish in Scotland.”