Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the Scottish Government Publish 5-year National Gaelic Language Plan
The new National Gaelic Language Plan 2023-28 (“the Plan”) has been published by Bòrd na Gàidhlig today (21.12.23), lighting the way for a future in which there is a measurable increase in the numbers of people speaking, learning, using and supporting Gaelic.
The Plan sets out where action is needed to strengthen the Gaelic language in Scotland. It underpins the Scottish Government’s ambition to see recognition for the language increase and for Gaelic’s place in Scotland to grow and develop.
The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 (“the Act”) asks Bòrd na Gàidhlig to prepare and submit a National Gaelic Language Plan with proposals relating to the use and promotion of Gaelic with a focus on the needs and priorities of the Gaelic language for its speakers, learners, and supporters.
While the Act requires Bòrd na Gàidhlig to prepare the Plan, the responsibility for making progress with the aims and targets within it sits with a number of authorities, organisations, and communities, meaning the publication of this plan is a key moment for Gaelic organisations and development officers and their work over the next 5 years.
Welcoming the Plan, Jenny Gilruth, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, said:
“The Scottish Government welcomes the launch of the National Gaelic Language Plan. This Plan provides the priorities and targets needed to make further progress with Gaelic in Scotland.
“We recognise that a number of local authorities and public bodies can and do make an important contribution to support for Gaelic and the priorities in this Plan will help to bring focus to these shared commitments. This Plan also comes at an important time following the Scottish Languages Bill’s introduction to the Scottish Parliament.
“I am confident that this Plan will contribute to the continued promotion of Gaelic in Scotland as it provides an excellent opportunity for cooperation and working together to support Gaelic.”
There are both significant challenges and opportunities facing the Gaelic language at the moment. The Plan contains several Key Aims as well as Priority Areas and more specific Targets, aimed at meeting these challenges and opportunities head on, promoting increased use and learning of Gaelic in communities, homes, creative industries, businesses, public authorities and education.
Mairi MacInnes, Chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said:
“The five-year plan is the result of a comprehensive consultation process with individuals, communities, Gaelic organisations, voluntary organisations, and public authorities. It is the fourth such plan to be produced by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the public body with responsibility for the promotion and development of the Gaelic language in Scotland, and it sets out how Gaelic officers and Gaelic organisations should aim to meet the challenges and opportunities facing the language today.”