Results from the Gaelic Usage Survey

Bòrd na Gàidhlig are delighted to publish the results from their Ceisteachan air Cleachdadh na Gàidhlig (Questionnaire on Gaelic Usage) 2022. This snap-survey was published at 8pm on Sunday 19th June and ran for 24 hours. In that time, we received 761 responses – an increase on the 473 received in 2021 when the same survey was run on the same date. We are very appreciative to every person who took the time to complete this important survey.

The same questions were put to the public this year to enable us to make comparisons on the answers each year.

Amongst the results, 69% of respondents said that they use Gaelic daily.

More than half (50.3%) reported to be using more Gaelic this year in comparison to last year.

People were asked to answer questions around their Gaelic usage in the past year across a range of situations in comparison to their usage last year.

The majority of people said that they use as much (48%) or more (45%) Gaelic online.

The majority of people said that they use as much (63%) or more (30%) Gaelic at home.

The majority of people said that they use as much (64%) or more (25%) Gaelic in school/university/college/at work.

The majority of people said that they use as much (60%) or more (29%) Gaelic in their communities.

Shona MacLennan, Ceannard, Bòrd na Gàidhlig said: “It brings us great joy to see the increase in Gaelic usage across these various sectors. Although this is a snapshot in comparison to the Gaelic community as a whole, it is very helpful for us to be able to make comparisons on the responses received each year and it also adds to our aims in the National Gaelic Language Plan to normalise Gaelic.”

The survey will be held again in June 2023.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig provide vital funding to public authorities for 36 Gaelic projects

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has awarded over £413,000 to 36 Gaelic projects as part of the Gaelic Language Act Implementation Fund (GLAIF). 

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is one of a number of Western Isles organisations to benefit from funding for a range of projects, including an award of £20,000 to provide Gaelic classes to its apprentices. 

The Comhairle also received £12,000 to provide an immersion in a Gaelic work environment for students undertaking a summer placement within a local organisation, and a further £8,000 to host Gaelic reminiscence sessions in care homes. Other funding included £7,500 to host LUACH 2023 – a festival of Gaelic events across Lewis and Harris. 

Among the many other organisations receiving funding are the University of the Highlands and Islands Outer Hebrides, who have been awarded £33,000 to offer Gaelic classes across the Western Isles. The National Library of Scotland has been awarded funds to hire an officer to digitise Cinema Sgìre films, while the University of Aberdeen has been provided funding to hire a Gaelic officer. 

The City of Edinburgh Council’s work in developing the Gaelic language has been recognised with an award of £20,000 to extended Capital Gaelic – a project aimed at building the links between Gaelic organisations throughout the city. 

Glasgow Life will carry its Gaelic Arts Strategy into a fifth year, where the organisation will promote a programme of events and campaigns following a £15,000 award, as well as provide training and development opportunities for Gaelic tutors. Glasgow City Council has also been provided with £7,000 of funding to develop an interactive Gaelic map of the city, as well as an additional £3,200 to provide Gaelic tuition to council staff. 

Elsewhere, Leisure and Culture Dundee will benefit from over £1,350, which will go towards delivering Gaelic concerts and presentations in Gaelic for Dundee residents, while Dumfries and Galloway Council has been awarded £5,750 for a Gaelic heritage value study. 

A full overview of projects that received funding can be found via the GrantNav website here 

Further projects that applied through GLAIF will also be supported as the year progresses. 

Mairi MacInnes, Chair at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “The latest round of GLAIF funding shows the reach that Bòrd na Gàidhlig has as we strive to give the Gaelic language the platform to develop, not just in the Highlands and Islands, but throughout Scotland. 

“The breadth of awards across the country show the commitment from many councils and organisations to grow the language and bring it to an altogether new audience as well as supporting existing Gaelic communities. This form of funding plays a major role in ensuring that the language’s rich history is preserved and will be of benefit to people of all ages.” 

Bòrd na Gàidhlig runs funding schemes at different times through the year. If you have a proposal for a project please email:, or phone 07584 103 944. 


Partner Quotes 

Leisure and Culture Dundee 

A spokesperson for Leisure and Culture Dundee said: “Leisure and Culture Dundee are grateful to Bòrd na Gàidhlig for continuing to support the Gaelic Lunchtime Concerts in the Marryat Hall, enabling us to bring the best young Gaelic singers and musicians to perform and for Gaelic to thrive through the joy of music.”   


Comharile nan Eilean Siar 

A spokesperson for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar said: “Comhairle nan Eilean is delighted to be awarded £8k from Bòrd na Gàidhlig to deliver a project attached to Taigh Shiphoirt and Bremner Court, the new care campus being constructed in Stornoway.  ‘Sùil air Ais, Sùil air adhart’ aims to deliver monthly reminiscence events for residents and will enable the purchase of items linked to the islands to stimulate memories and conversations.  Maintaining the spoken language is important  and Sùil air Adhart will support a member of younger staff group to champion and promote Gàidhlig with residents/tenants and among staff.” 


University of the Highlands and Islands 

During 2021-22 over 80 students enrolled on Gaelic courses delivered by UHI Outer Hebrides, and we are delighted, with the support of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, to be able to continue providing opportunities for Gaelic language learning in communities across the Western Isles.  We are pleased to be able to offer classes in 2022-23 in areas such as Barra, Benbecula, Tarbert and Barvas in addition to courses at our Stornoway campus and also online.   

Sue Macfarlane, Interim Principal of UHI Outer Hebrides, said: “UHI Outer Hebrides is committed to increasing Gaelic learning and usage opportunities and continued support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and partnership working with Community Learning Hebrides enables us to offer a wide range of courses.  We are particularly pleased to be able to offer Gaelic courses free of charge to parents and guardians of children in Gaelic Medium Education.  We continue to work closely with Bòrd na Gàidhlig and partners in assisting with the implementation of the aims and objections of the National Gaelic Language Plan.” 


Glasgow City Council 

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: “Glasgow Life’s Gaelic Arts strategy and programme has enjoyed unwavering support, through GLAIF, for which we, our community, Gaelic artists and audiences are extremely grateful. In 2022/23 we continue to develop Gaelic content at Glasgow Life’s major festivals, Aye Write, Merchant City Festival, Celtic Connections and the Mela aswell as working with an extensive range of partners to deliver: the Literary competition – Litir gu Glaschu(Gaelic Books Council); community drama workshops and Royal National Mod performances (Tricky Hat Theatre Company); 12 weeks of group work for young musicians (Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu); devising a new model for (Glasgow University) with a refreshed steering group; support organisations like Ceòl ‘s Craic and Fèis Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu in a post pandemic context; introduce a new exciting audience development project Trodhadaibh and continue with our flagship community of practice project GUIR!” 


National Library of Scotland 

Alistair Bell, Head of Moving Image Archive, National Library of Scotland said: “At the Moving Image Archive of the National Library of Scotland, we are delighted to receive a grant from Bòrd na Gàidhlig. The project is a partnership with Museum & Tasglann nan Eilean part of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Together, we will use the funding to digitise and catalogue a unique collection of video tapes containing spoken Gàidhlig, and share the content with the public, both at community events in the Outer Hebrides and through the Moving Image Archive. The videos were filmed by local people during the 1970s and 80s in a community project, Cinema Sgìre. Our thanks to Bòrd na Gàidhlig for making this project possible.” 


Dumfries and Galloway Council 

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Chair of the Council’s Communities Committee, Archie Dryburgh, enthused that the Council were delighted to receive funding from the Gaelic Language Act Implementation Fund to support a Gaelic Heritage Value Study within the region. Vice Chair, John Campbell, commented: “This exciting opportunity was identified through our Third Sector partner Gàidhlig Dumgal and we look forward to working with them very closely over the coming period to take this project forward.” 


University of Aberdeen 

A spokesperson: “The University of Aberdeen is delighted to be awarded £24,000 from Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s GLAIF fund. We are thrilled to gain the support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig to recruit a passionate and dedicated Gaelic Language Officer. We look forward to propelling our ambitious Gaelic Language Plan actions further and delivering even more exciting Gaelic language initiatives for the University of Aberdeen community.” 


Edinburgh City Council 

A spokesperson for The City of Edinburgh Council said: “We’re grateful for the continued support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and delighted to be awarded £20,000 to further develop Capital Gaelic. This project aims to develop a co-ordinated and creative partnership approach to embedding Gaelic as a vibrant part of life in Edinburgh. This is being achieved by piloting interagency working with the Council and The National Library of Scotland convening a multi-agency group to identify opportunities, share knowledge and expertise and shape a vision for the future of Gaelic in the city.” 


Progress over the past six months has included: The development of a Capital Gaelic Facebook page; the setting up a Community Gaelic Interest Group involving staff from all network organisations involved (The City of Edinburgh Council, The National Library of Scotland, The National Galleries of Scotland, Comunn na Gàidhlig, SkillsDevelopment Scotland, National Museums Scotland); stronger links with schools using pupil views of what they would like Capital Gaelic to achieve: Ar Guth (Pupils Voice Group, Àrd Sgoil Sheumais Ghilleasbuig) and the development of Foundational Apprentice in collaboration with Skills Development Scotland.  

Funding Recipients 

University of the Highlands and Islands – Outer Hebrides 

University of the Highland and Islands 

The Highland Council 

City of Edinburgh Council 

University of Aberdeen 

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar 

Glasgow Life 

University of Glasgow 

West Dunbartonshire Council 

North Lanarkshire Council 

Newbattle Abbey College 

Glasgow City Council 


Dumfries and Galloway Council 

Angus Council 

Sabhal Mor Ostaig 

Moray Council 


Leisure and Culture Dundee 

West Dunbartonshire Council Draft Strategic Plan 2022-27 Consultation

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has submitted a response to West Dunbartonshire Council’s Draft Strategic Plan 2022-27 consultation.

Some of the points raised include:

There are no references to Gaelic language and culture in the Draft Strategic Plan nor in the accompanying Strategic Needs Assessment. (We also note that there are no references to Gaelic in the draft West Dunbartonshire’s Economic Development Strategy 2022 – 2027). This is despite the Council having a Gaelic Language Plan containing various commitments.

This needs to be addressed in the final version of the Draft Strategic Plan.

The full response can be read here.

South Lanarkshire Council – Economic Strategy 2022-2027 – consultation

South Lanarkshire Council’s Economic Strategy 2022-2027 has been prepared and Bòrd na Gàidhlig has submitted a response on its key themes and priorities.

Some of the points raised include:

South Lanarkshire  Council has a Gaelic Language Plan containing various commitments to increase the use and learning of Gaelic. The Plan states that “SLC promotes the economic benefits of Gaelic language and culture as part of its general economic development initiatives”. It also states that it ensures that “Gaelic is valued and that its important contribution to the social, cultural and economic life of the nation is recognised”.

These commitments are not reflected in the Draft Economic Strategy. This needs to be addressed in the final version, through a number of specific references to Gaelic and further recommendations on this are made below.

The full response can be read here.

COVID-19 Recovery Committee – Pre-Budget Scrutiny

The Scottish Government is expected to publish its Budget 2023-24 in December 2022. In advance of this, the COVID-19 Recovery Committee is undertaking pre-budget scrutiny with the aim of influencing the Scottish Government’s thinking when preparing its forthcoming budget.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig have submitted a response which includes the points:

“The Resource Spending Review and its associated documents make no reference to Gaelic, its role as an economic asset and how it can contribute to the recovery.

This is a significant omission. The result is a lack of clarity and transparency on the degree of future priority of – and funding for – Gaelic.

There is no case for any reduction in funding for Gaelic. Rather, there is a case for increased funding to reflect Scottish Government policy, growing demand for the Gaelic language and culture, and Gaelic’s increasing contribution to Scotland’s economy.”

The full response can be read here.

National Care Service (Scotland) Bill Consultation – Bòrd na Gàidhlig Response

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has submitted a response to the Scottish Parliament consultation on the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill.

Points raised in the response include the following:

“Scottish Government’s design of a National Care Service should reflect its existing policies and commitments regarding the Gaelic language.”

“The proposed law should include a specific statement that the National Care Service will provide a service for Gaelic speakers of any age through appropriate staffing, visibility and use of the language in locations which are appropriate and accessible to families.”

The full response can be read here.

A Modern and Sustainable Ferry Service for Scotland – Response by Bòrd na Gàidhlig

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has submitted a response to the Scottish Parliament consultation on a A Modern and Sustainable Ferry Service for Scotland.

Points raised in the response include the following:

“We recognise that a holistic approach is required for sustainable island communities and thus for sustaining the Gaelic language.”

“The importance of a modern and sustainable ferry service for Scottish islands is of utmost importance in sustaining the island communities of Gaelic speakers, and in sustaining the language and culture.”

The full response can be read here.

Initial Findings from Nationwide Consultation Ahead of Updating the Gaelic Language Plan

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has unveiled the initial findings from a nationwide consultation which will help shape the latest stage of the National Gaelic Language Plan.

The consultation focused on the ambitions, direction, and themes for Gaelic, with Bòrd na Gàidhlig seeking input and feedback on the draft plan which sets out the next five years for the language.

Over 250 responses were received following an extensive programme of community meetings, both in-person and online, across Scotland.

The majority (65%) of organisations and individuals who responded agreed with the direction of the draft plan, which has a particular focus on increasing the use of Gaelic and its learning.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig also received positive feedback on increasing the number of initiatives to raise confidence when using Gaelic, as well the importance of Gaelic education in revitalising the language for both fluent speakers and learners.

Feedback reinforced that Gaelic education should happen in context of other developments, including the establishment of Gaelic Hubs, a greater online presence, as well as a greater media profile – including an extended service from BBC Alba. GME should also be developed and promoted by local authorities, while links with communities must be strengthened.

The consultation also indicated the need for an increased emphasis on the wider context of Gaelic development – including societal issues affecting communities in island and rural areas, and those in towns and cities.

Other responses support the Bord’s continued focus on increased usage of Gaelic in island, rural and urban communities. As it stands, around one quarter of Bòrd na Gàidhlig development funding currently enables the creation or maintenance of around 60 Gaelic officers – 46 in island and rural communities and 14 in urban areas.

Elsewhere, feedback on the structure of the plan highlighted the need for an increased focus on targets, and the requirement for information on progress to be placed earlier in the document.


Mairi MacInnes, Chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said:

“It was very apparent during all the public meetings and the majority of the responses that there is real enthusiasm for the language and a developing understanding around how important the National Plan is in securing the future of Gaelic for everyone in Scotland and beyond.

“We look forward to using the findings to inform our final draft ahead of submitting to Scottish Ministers and would like to thank everybody who took the time to take part in the consultation process.”


The National Gaelic Language Plan will now be revised in light of the consultation and will be submitted to Scottish Ministers for their approval with the aim of publication in April 2023.

Pre-Budget Scrutiny Call for Views

The Finance and Public Administration Committee of the Scottish Parliament is seeking public views on the impact of cost of living and public service reform. Bòrd na Gàidhlig has submitted a response containing the following points:

“There are:

A range of Scottish Government strategies and policies that recognise the importance of, and the need to support, the Gaelic language.
Increasing demand for learning Gaelic and interest in the Gaelic language and culture.
More evidence of the importance of the Gaelic language to the Scottish economy.
Therefore, there is no case for reducing funding for the Gaelic language. Instead, there is a case for more funding to reflect the growing demand and potential for the Gaelic language and culture.”

The full response can be read here.

Schools (Residential Outdoor Education) (Scotland) Bill Consultation

Between April and July 2022 Liz Smith MSP, held a consultation on Schools (Residential Outdoor Education) (Scotland) Bill. Bòrd na Gàidhlig submitted a response which included the points:

Bòrd na Gàidhlig is of the view that national provision of outdoor education impacts positively on wider equality issues.

Ensuring that Gaelic is included in national education strategies is crucial if Scotland is to ensure that respect for pluralism and cultural diversity is both nurtured and encouraged. Scotland has a particular responsibility to support and develop the Gaelic language and culture as part of Scotland’s contribution to a multi-cultural world.

Outdoor Education has the potential to enrich educational experiences relating to the language and therefore strengthen strategies to deliver greater equality within Scottish Education and beyond (the first Canadian GME service, for example, opened in 2021).

You can read the full response here.