Bòrd na Gàidhlig commissions new research into links between wellbeing and Gaelic

As understanding and increasing wellbeing become more important in all our lives, Bòrd na Gàidhlig has awarded a commission to DC Research to carry out a study into how Gaelic enhances the wellbeing of individuals, communities and the nation as a whole.

Wellbeing is increasingly recognised as a factor in a wide range of fields across the economy and society. Online meetings in Gaelic during the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated that wellbeing, inclusion and networking were important and could be enhanced, and also demonstrated the role of Gaelic in increasing wellbeing generally.

The recent Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (2021) revealed that 70% of those learning Gaelic believed that this contributed to their wellbeing.  As the numbers of people learning the language grows, this aspect of engaging with Gaelic could be increasingly important.

When it commences this month, the research will evaluate and describe how Gaelic contributes more widely to society as more than just a language but as a culture and provide an understanding of how facets of wellbeing can be used to assist and encourage Gaelic users, as speakers and learners and as a language community. It will also set out, in a political context, how Gaelic contributes to the National Performance Framework (NPF), as well as seeking to evaluate and describe the contribution of Gaelic so that this is recognised while also considering research in other minority languages.

Shona MacLennan, Ceannard, Bòrd na Gàidhlig said: “We recognise that wellbeing is increasingly important, both for individuals and for society.  The evidence from this research will help us to make stronger arguments for ensuring that Gaelic, and its contribution to wellbeing, is recognised and supported in national and regional policies so as to provide greater support for Gaelic communities.”

Dr Stephen Connolly, Director at DC Research and project manager for the research, who will be working alongside Professor Mike Danson, Dr Douglas Chalmers and Eilidh Danson on the study, said: “We are looking forward to exploring these issues around Gaelic and wellbeing in consultations with a range of experts, speakers and influencers from Scotland and internationally over the summer months”.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig Seeks New Ceannard

Bòrd na Gàidhlig is the public body responsible for planning and leading the campaign to promote the Gaelic language and its culture in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government. Our aim is that the Gaelic language will be seen and heard on a daily basis throughout Scotland, to the extent that it will be recognized as a fundamental part of the lives of the people of Scotland and as a precious language that contributes to the culture and economy of the country.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig is looking for a bold and dynamic individual with a passion for Scotland’s Gaelic language and culture and someone who can drive forward this national asset. You may come from another public sector or third sector environment with a national focus.

As Ceannard, you will ensure that decisions and policies are implemented effectively and efficiently through leading the senior management team, managing the staff and through promoting BnG’s work with others.  In that role, building relationships with other organisations, public and community, as well as other government departments is key.

Responsibilities include:

  • Accountable to the Board, you will lead the work of the organisation, ensuring that the strategic aims and objectives of the organisation are achieved
  • Accountable to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Ministers as the Accountable Officer for Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
  • Ensuring the organisation develops the National Gaelic Language Plan and monitors its implementation.
  • Partnership working, initiating and establishing innovative approaches to partnerships, and modelling excellent consultation and collaboration with key stakeholders
  • Leading and representing Bòrd na Gàidhlig to promote the work of the organisation, both internally and externally, working for the long-term aims of Bòrd na Gàidhlig and growing the reputation of the organisation
  • Guiding the development, monitoring and reviewing of strategies and plans, through the effective management of Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s activities and resources
  • Accountable for corporate governance and ensuring the organisation meets all regulatory and public sector responsibilities and duties

You will have the initiative and resilience to lead an organisation of this size in a complex environment. An outstanding communicator with integrity and enthusiasm to develop high performing teams and drive a culture of excellence. A commitment to equality, inclusion and diversity is essential to create an environment where everyone can meet their full potential.

Candidates need not necessarily have operated at CEO level before but will bring a breadth of leadership experience to this role.

If you share Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s ambitious vision and would relish driving this forward, we would very much welcome your application.

Further information:

Bòrd na Gàidhlig

Ceannard of Bòrd na Gàidhlig announces retirement

The Ceannard of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Shona MacLennan, has announced her decision to retire, with effect from 31 October this year, after seven years’ service with the Bòrd. 

She has given 6 months’ notice of her retiral. This is in advance of the required three months’ notice, to give the Bòrd the best opportunity of appointing a successor before her departure. 

Shona said: “My time as Chief Executive has seen a period of development and growth for Gaelic and for the organisation. It has been a time of enormous change for Bòrd na Gàidhlig. This has been a stimulating and rewarding time and I have been fortunate to be very well supported throughout by a talented and innovative team. 

“It has been a real privilege to serve Bòrd na Gàidhlig over this period. That said, there remain many opportunities and challenges over the next 6 months and I will continue to play my part in addressing these, while doing everything I can to ensure a smooth transition. So it will be business as usual for me until November and then I intend to enjoy time with family and travelling.” 

Cathraiche, Mary MacInnes said: “While I am very sad to hear this news, I am very grateful to Shona for allowing us time to find the right replacement for this key role and to enable a smooth transition. Shona is an outstanding Chief Executive who has led transformation of the Bòrd through an extremely challenging period, and has created an organisation which can realise future opportunities. I wish her the very best for her future plans.” 

Recruitment underway for 3 new Board Members

Scottish Ministers are seeking to appoint three skilled and committed individuals to the board of the principal public body for the promotion of the Gaelic language, Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Scottish Ministers welcome applications from people from a wide range of backgrounds who have the following skills, knowledge and experience:

Generalist skills/knowledge/experience

  • Gaelic communication skills
  • Oversight & Accountability
  • Effective analysis & Decision making
  • Communication & Teamworking

*Specialist skills/knowledge/experience

  • Language planning
  • Legal background/awareness

Cathraiche (Chair) of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Màiri MacInnes said: “Being part of the Board of Bòrd na Gàidhlig is an exciting opportunity to be involved in the development and promotion of the language. I would encourage all those with the commitment, expertise and passion in securing the future of the Gaelic language in all communities, whether that be online, cities or rural areas to apply for one of these appointments.”

An informal information session will be held for any interested parties to ask any questions or learn more about the role on Wednesday 5 April 2023 at 6:30pm. You can register for the event at www.bit.ly/BuillBnG

Board members will be expected to spend on average three days per month on BnG business. The appointments will take effect on 1 August 2023, and the closing date for applications is 24 April 2023.

Interviews will take place in June 2023.

How to apply

An application pack and full details on these posts and other public appointments can be found at the public appointments website www.appointed-for-scotland.org.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig provides almost £1 million for Gaelic Development Officers

Bòrd na Gàidhlig funding aimed at promoting Gaelic has provided almost £1 million for language development officers since its launch.

A new funding stream, made possible by £400k in extra funding from the Scottish Government, which allows organisations to extend the one-year term of Gaelic development officers currently funded under the Gaelic Officer Scheme, has provided 20 awards alone for the current funding round in 2023.

Organisations from the Western Isles, Highlands, Argyll and Bute, Edinburgh, and Glasgow – working in a range of sectors including sports, arts and culture, environment, and education – are among those to benefit.

The total funding for this year’s round amounts to £473,165, providing an extension to 11 existing contracts and creating 9 new roles. The funding has helped facilitate numerous initiatives aimed at promoting Gaelic development and increasing the use of the language and culture in Gaelic communities throughout Scotland.

Over the two years, a total of £957,000 has been allocated to this development work.

Mairi MacInnes, Chair at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “This funding scheme has led to significant progress in promoting the Gaelic language and culture across Scotland. The Gaelic development officers have helped to facilitate numerous initiatives that promote Gaelic development, such as community-based programs, cultural events, and educational activities.

“We are pleased to support the outstanding work of these organisations and look forward to seeing the continued growth of Gaelic communities throughout Scotland.”


Bòrd na Gàidhlig welcomes new Co-optees

Bòrd na Gàidhlig are delighted to welcome two new co-opted members to their committees.  Kenneth MacIver joined the Policy and Resources Committee and Rob McKinnon joined the Audit and Assurance Committee from February 2023. 

They both bring a wealth of experience to the committees with a wide range of skills between them.

Kenneth MacIver has been involved in Gaelic affairs throughout his life. In his youth, he was involved in Gaelic drama. He worked at the Highland Society and taught Gaelic at the University College (UCD) in Dublin. People are more familiar with him as a broadcaster over many years. He was Chairman of Comunn na Gàidhlig, and of the Stornoway Trust, a member of Comhairle nan Eilean for 10 years and editor of the Stornoway Gazette.

Rob McKinnon has a background in finance and strategy, including a spell in PricewaterhouseCoopers corporate finance division in London and Sydney.  For many years he worked with the Boards and Executives of some of the of UK’s leading companies on organisation design, management processes, consumer insight and strategic decision making.  

He developed a focus on hospitality and tourism, leading delivery of strategic projects for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).  For the past five years he has been Chief Executive of Outer Hebrides Tourism, the destination management organisation for the Western Isles.  This included a much higher profile for Gàidhlig in promoting the islands, including a marketing campaign entirely in Gàidhlig. 

He is a Gàidhlig learner, completing Cùrsa Adhartais at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.  His family is from the Outer Hebrides and he splits his time between Edinburgh and the Isle of Harris. 

Shona MacLennan, Ceannard of Bòrd na Gàidhlig said: “We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Kenneth and Rob and we know that they will contribute to the work of the committees. They both have a wealth of knowledge in a variety of sectors which will be most useful. We look forward to working with them.” 

Gaelic Awards 2023

Photo: Stevie Walsh

The Gaelic Awards 2023 were held at the Glasgow Marriott Hotel on Tuesday evening. Ten awards were presented to people and groups throughout the country for their work in Gaelic. For the first time, the Gaelic Awards were held as part of Seachdain na Gàidhlig (World Gaelic Week) and celebrated some of the people and organisations who work hard within Gaelic.

This was the tenth year of the Gaelic Awards and there were some changes to the award categories including a new Award for the Content Creator of the Year, an award for Gaelic in Sport alongside the annual awards such as Young Ambassador of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award.

The evening was hosted by Cathy ‘Bhàn’ MacDonald and there were around 150 people in attendance to celebrate Gaelic.

The Gaelic Awards, which are held in partnership with the Daily Record, allow people and groups the opportunity to be recognised for the important work that they do in Gaelic each year.

Màiri MacInnes, Chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “There is a lot of work going on in Gaelic and that is growing every year. That is clearly evident as we have received the most nominations this year! We had a great night together as we celebrate the Gaelic language, contributing to the normalization of the Gaelic language and maintaining the wonderful work that is going on in the world through Gaelic.”

The following awards were presented:

Arts and Culture Award – Marcas Mac an Tuairneir

Best Contribution Award – Yvonne Irving

Best Contribution to Media – FilmG

Community Award – Comunn Oiseanach Oilthigh Ghlaschu

Learning Award – Sgioba na Gàidhlig, eSgoil

Gaelic in Sport – Màiri NicRisnidh, BBC Spòrs Gàidhlig

Gaelic as an Economic Asset – Astar

Best Gaelic Content-Creator – Young Scot

Young Ambassador of the Year – Raonaid Kellow

Lifetime Achievement Award – Ailean Caimbeul

Further information:

Bòrd na Gàidhlig

Duaisean na Gàidhlig

Funding for Community Groups

Bòrd na Gàidhlig provide funding to community groups for 60 Gaelic projects.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has awarded over £171,000 to 60 Gaelic projects as part of their Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd (Community Grants) scheme – Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s primary fund for supporting organisations in delivering projects to promote and increase usage and learning of Gaelic at community level.

Organisations from throughout Scotland will benefit from the awards, ranging from primary schools and Gaelic groups, to a community circus and a dementia charity.

Portree High School is the biggest recipient following an award of £5,000 towards supporting over 130 pupils currently receiving part of their education through Gaelic. The school says it wants to strengthen the Gaelic community, develop skills, grow confidence in working together, as well as encourage connections with other Gaelic speakers.

Alzheimer Scotland has been provided £4,000 to deliver Fàs na Gàidhlig, developing on their Còmhraidhean sa Ghàidhlig / Gaelic Conversations project, the charity want to keep up the momentum by engaging with people living with dementia and their carers, family and friends and to build on the intergenerational links created with the Gaelic primary schools in Skye, Lochaber, and Wester Ross.

Artsplay Highland has also received £4,000 for their Ceòl agus Ceilidh project, which will enable them to deliver a total of 39 workshops across three Gaelic medium nursery groups within Drumnadrochit, Dingwall and Tain.

Among the many other organisations receiving funding are James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh, who have been awarded £1,750 to enhance their Gaelic offering in the capital.

Glasgow Community Circus CIC has been awarded funds to offer classes in Gaelic for young people between 6 and 18, to learn skills such as trapeze, gymnastics and unicycle, while Kingoldrum Village Hall in Angus has been provided funding for its Gaelic in the Glens project.

Bishopbriggs Academy has been recognised with an award to fund its Gaelic podcast project, while West Primary School in Renfrewshire has been awarded £1,750 to pay for Gaelic lessons for parents who have children in Gaelic-medium education, as well as school staff who want to learn the language.

Friends of the Elphinstone Institute in Aberdeen have been awarded £2,500 for Seinn Spioradail, a year-long touring exhibition with audio-visual material including a digital archive, 15 minute film and website to be launched in January 2024. Meanwhile, the Dingwall Players have received £800 towards a Gaelic artist in residence.

Mairi MacInnes, Chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said:

“We are delighted to support all of these wonderful communities as they promote and increase the use of Gaelic at both local and national level. This latest round of funding shows the impact that Bòrd na Gàidhlig has with organisations, charities and community groups across the country as we look to increase the reach of the Gaelic language together.

We are committed to helping organisations deliver projects at a community level that will not only increase the usage of Gaelic, but also engage the next generation as we continue to put the language at the heart of communities across Scotland.”


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


­Funding Recipients


Friends of the Elphinstone Institute – £2,500

Fèis Obar Dheathain (Aberdeen Festival) – £940



Kingoldrum Village Hall – £3,500


Argyll and Bute

Tighnabruaich District Development Trust – £2,000

Comunn Gàidhealach an Òbain – £3,000

Air Ghleus – £2,000

Co-roinn Ghàidhlig Mhuile agus Idhe – £1,200

Comunn Gàidhealach Muile – £3,000



Bothan Dhùn Èideann – £3,500

Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland – £3,000

Edinburgh Napier University – £3,000

Àrd-sgoil Sheumais Ghilleasbuig – £1,750


Dumfries and Galloway

Gàidhlig Dumgal – £3,500


East Ayrshire

East Ayrshire Gaelic Forum – £3,000


East Dunbartonshire

Bishopbriggs Academy – £240

Bishopbriggs Gaelic Group – £2,500

CnP Meadowburn – £2,000


East Renfrewshire

Gàidhlig san Dachaigh Glaschu a Deas – £3.700

Glasgow Community Circus CIC – £2,750



Lingo Flamingo – £4,000

The Highland Society of London – £800

Gàidhlig san Dachaigh (Glaschu) – £3,000

Comhairle nam Pàrant Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghleann Dàil – £4,000

Ceòl is Craic – £4,000

Mount Cameron Primary School – £3,000

Comunn na Drama – £3,850



Munlochy Gaelic Group (Black Isle) – £3,000

Knoydart Foundation (Caol and Mallaig) – £3,750

Glenfinnan Community Facilties SCIO (Caol and Mallaig) – £2,200

Dingwall Players (Dingwall) – £800

Fèis Chataibh (East Sutherland and Edderton) – £3,000

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (Eilean a’ Cheò) – £4,000

Gàidhlig san Dachaigh (Eilean a’ Cheò) – £1,000

Alzheimer Scotland – Action On Dementia (Eilean a’ Cheò) – £4,000

Bun Sgoiltean Chille Mhoire agus Stafainn (Eilean a’ Cheò) – £3,800

Ionad Thròndairnis (Eilean a’ Cheò) – £4,000

Àrd-sgoil Phort Rìgh (Eilean a’ Cheò) – £5,000

Urras an Taobh Sear (Eilean a’ Cheò) – £3,000

Meur Loch Abar (Fort William and Ardnamurchan) – £4,000

Fèis Lochabair (Fort William and Ardnamurchan) – £1,750

Artsplay Highland – £4,500

Lairg & District Learning Centre (North, West and Central Sutherland) – £4,500

North West Training Centre (North, West and Central Sutherland) – £1,500

Comann Nam Pàrant Baile Dhubhthaich (Tain and Easter Ross) – £4,000

Fèis Air an Oir (Thurso and Northwest Caithness) – £3,000

North West Highlands Geopark (West Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh) – £2,400



Inverclyde Gaelic Learners Group – £1,000


Outer Hebrides

Urras Coimhearsnachd Bhràdhagair agus Àrnoil (West Side and Ness) £4,480

Dòchas Dancers (Barra) – £4,000

Sràdagan Sgìre Ùige (Uig and Carloway) – £2,500

Urras an Taighe Mhòir agus Comunn Eachdraidh Loch Ròg an Ear (Uig and Carloway) – £3,250

Sruth-mara (Uig and Carloway) – £3,850

Dòrlach – £4,000



West Primary School – £1,750

ClannGàidhlig – £1,800


South Lanarkshire

Thornton Road Community Centre Association – £1,000

East Kilbride Gaelic Group – £2,500

Clydesdale Community Gaelic Initiative – £3,750

Calderglen High School – £3,500



Fèis Fhoirt – £1,200


You can find more information about our funding schemes, including those that are open to applications now here.

See a full breakdown of the projects we have awarded funding on GrantNav.

Gaelic Medium Education

Bòrd na Gàidhlig is aware of situations regarding Gaelic medium education and the need for more teachers to ensure that it can continue to grow.

In terms of education, Bòrd na Gàidhlig has a duty to publish the Statutory Guidance for Gaelic Education. Local authorities have the duty to provide education and responsibilities regarding teacher recruitment and retention.  The Scottish Funding Council, GTCS and universities have responsibilities in relation to teacher training.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig worked with officers at Highland, Argyll and Bute and Aberdeen City Councils to make recommendations on actions that would support the recruitment and retention of teachers and that report was submitted to the Councils last year.  This included recommendations on making teaching posts more attractive through offering permanent, full-time contracts, creating promotion structures and addressing issues such as access to affordable housing.

The second part of the report addressing national issues has been provided to The Highland Council, Scottish Government and others.  According to the most recent SG data, over one-third of those teachers qualified to teach in Gaelic medium are currently working in English medium.

In addition to providing advice, Bòrd na Gàidhlig works to encourage people to take up a career in teaching through the #DèanDiofar (MakeaDifference) campaigns promoting teaching and early-years careers, and through collaboration with many other organisations. BnG has a Development Officer (Teachers) who visits schools and universities to bring teaching to people’s attention as a career.

Bursaries are available from Bòrd na Gàidhlig to encourage people who are considering changing careers to train as teachers, for students undertaking Initial Teacher Education, for those who are registered teachers to become Gaelic-medium teachers through immersion courses and support also for probationary teachers.

New Director of Education at Bòrd na Gàidhlig

Bòrd na Gàidhlig is delighted to announce the appointment of Jennifer McHarrie as Director of Education who takes up her appointment on 05 December 2022. Jennifer will lead the education team at Bòrd na Gàidhlig and work with them to lead the education policies of the Bòrd. Bòrd na Gàidhlig provides advice to the Scottish Government on Gaelic Education, works with education authorities and other bodies involved in the delivery of education in order to achieve the Bòrd’s objectives, and Jennifer will oversee the work of the Bòrd in the implementation of Statutory Guidance in the various agencies.

A resident of Carluke (South Lanarkshire) Jennifer has a wealth of experience in both the public and private sector relating to languages and education. She is a graduate of Glasgow University (French/Hispanic Studies) and learned Gaelic as an adult via a variety of different courses including evening classes in Glasgow and Lanarkshire, An Cùrsa Inntrigidh with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and recently completed Glasgow University’s Bliadhna Bogaidh, awarded with distinction. Jennifer joins BnaG from SQA, where she has worked for over 10 years, most recently as Qualifications Co-ordinator for on a wide range of projects relating to Gaelic including delivering the Educational Commitments in SQA’s Gaelic Language Plan, plus co-ordinating and growing Gaelic-medium provision. She has worked closely with teachers, local authorities in the Secondary, FE, HE and CLD sectors and has insight into the complex educational landscape, and also Language Planning and Policy at a national level.  A true advocate for the benefits of bilingualism, she has also worked in Translation Project Management, International Export and been an English Language Assistant in Northern Spain.

Mairi  MacInnes, Chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said, ‘We are extremely fortunate that someone with such extensive experience is going to strengthen the education team at the Bòrd. In particular, this will support local authorities and other bodies in realising the benefits of GME in their areas and in meeting the objectives set out in the National Gaelic Language Plan.”