FAQs – Funding applications

You can find information below on some of the questions we are asked often about our funding schemes.  If you can’t find an answer to your questions, please feel free to get in touch with us at tabhartas@gaidhlig.scot and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.

Where does Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s funding come from?

Bòrd na Gàidhlig are funded by grant-in-aid from the Scottish Government to run our operations and deliver funding to organisations and via grant schemes.

What do your funding schemes support and when do they open?

Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd – Supporting community projects and initiatives. Opens November, closes January – Projects March to August following year

Gaelic Plans Fund (formerly GLAIF) – Supporting public bodies and partners in delivering their Gaelic language plans.  Opens February, closes April – Projects August to August following year

Colmcille – Supporting projects that build ties between Gaelic and Irish speakers. Opens December, closes February – Projects April to August following year

Early Years Grants – Supporting Gaelic early years groups. Opens May, closes June – Supports groups through following school year

Education Grants – Supporting students on Gaelic teaching courses and training for Gaelic teachers. Opens June, closes early September – Supports people through following academic year

Gaelic Immersion Course Grants –  Supporting English-medium teachers to undertake a Gaelic immersion course. Opens December, closes March– Supports teachers through following academic year


If you are outside the timetable for these funding schemes, or if you have an idea for a project that doesn’t fit within the schemes, please get in touch with us and we can discuss other routes to funding.

How much can we apply for?

Our different schemes have different caps on the amount of funding that can be requested.

For most of our schemes, we can only support up to 80% of project costs, so you will need to either raise income through your project or seek match funding from another source.

Can you support me to take a Gaelic course?

We typically provide funding to organisations to run Gaelic courses rather than to individuals to attend them, however if you are looking to start a career in teaching Gaelic (either as a student or an existing teacher) or a Gaelic teacher looking to enhance your professional skills, you can apply via our Education Grants programme.

For Gaelic speakers looking to enhance their Irish Gaelic language skills, we also provide support through our Colmcille Irish Grants scheme to undertake an Irish course either in Ireland or online.

I’m studying Gaelic at college or university, can I apply for funding?

Unless you are already a teacher, or undertaking a specific Gaelic education course at university (either undergraduate or postgraduate) we do not currently offer funding for students undertaking Gaelic as a subject on its own at college or university.

Grants are available from the Gaelic Language Promotion Trust and the McCaig Trust for Gaelic students.

What else do you fund?

A full list of projects we have funded since 2018/19 is available via GrantNav here.  You can search by organisation or by keywords and filter by different locations and years.

If you can’t see a project similar to yours please feel free to get in touch with us and we can provide feedback as to whether it is something we can fund.

Can we apply as a for-profit company?

Yes, for funds that are open to non-public organisation we can accept applications from for-profit companies, however all projects must be run on a non-profit basis.

Can I apply as an individual?

Individuals can currently apply for support via our Education Grants scheme or Colmcille Irish Grants schemes, but we have funded projects by individuals outwith our usual grants schemes, so if you have an idea for a project please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to discuss routes to funding.

Can we apply for support towards translation of signage?

We do not typically fund the inclusion of Gaelic on signage, except if it is part of a larger project with a clear ongoing use of Gaelic.  In this case, we are happy to provide support towards the translation and design costs, but would expect you to cover the costs of the physical signage.

Can we apply as a school or local authority for support towards our Gaelic tuition?

No, we do not fund anything that would be required of a school or local authority as part of a Gaelic-medium or Gaelic learners’ curriculum.  We can however provide support towards extra-curricular activities to support Gaelic usage outwith the curriculum.

Can we apply for support towards a building or renovation?

No, we are restricted by the Scottish Government in that we cannot provide support towards capital costs, so cannot assist with these elements of projects.

We can, however, provide support towards Gaelic language activities and relevant project development and management that may be a part of such projects.

Where else should we look for funding?

  • Creative Scotland

Providing funding for artistic projects, Creative Scotland’s Open Funding and Targeted Funding streams provide support for a wide range of Gaelic arts projects.

  • Maoin nan Ealan Gàidhlig / Gaelic Arts Fund

The Maoin nan Ealan Gàidhlig / Gaelic Arts Fund, run by Fèisean nan Gàidheal with funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Creative Scotland, provides support to Gaelic arts projects and individuals

  • Comhairle nan Leabhraichean

The Gaelic Books Council provide support through grants and awards for writers and grants for publishers looking to create or publish Gaelic books.

  • National Lottery Grants

The National Lottery’s Community Fund run a series of programmes that are open to Gaelic projects. https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes?location=scotland

You can also apply for funding via the Lottery Heritage Fund for projects relating to heritage projects: https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding

Can you fund projects that have already begun?

We’re happy to provide extensions or continuations of projects that have run in the past, but we can’t provide retrospective funding (i.e. we can’t provide you with funding for something you have already undertaken).

If we apply for continuation of a project, can we ask for more funding than we received previously?

Yes.  If your project is a continuation though we expect you to show how your project will achieve more than it did in previous iterations and provide further value for money for our funding, otherwise we may maintain or reduce our contribution level.

Can we appeal if our funding application is unsuccessful?

Decisions on funding applications are final, all decisions are considered by our Senior Management Team, a Committee of the Board or the full Board.

However, if you are unhappy with the way your funding application has been processed or believe there was an error in how the decision was made (not including the decision itself), you can make a complaint via our Complaints Procedure.

Can we apply for something taking place outside Scotland?

Yes, in certain circumstances.  If you are applying via our Colmcille scheme, you can apply for activities that will take place in Ireland (as long as your organisation is primarily based in the UK).  You can also apply via other schemes towards trips for Gaelic speakers from Scotland to represent Gaelic abroad.

If you are applying from an organisation outwith Scotland, please consider how your project will support Gaelic in Scotland and we will be more than happy to discuss your project idea with you.

How long will it take to review our funding application?

It will typically take us between 8-12 weeks to review a funding application from the date it is submitted, as such you should make sure that when applying through a scheme you leave plenty of time before your intended start date to allow you to prepare after the decision.

Decisions can be taken earlier however, so please keep an eye on your email inbox for any communications from us relating to your application.

How are the applications assessed?

Applications are assessed by a panel of Bòrd na Gàidhlig officers, who will individually read and assess applications before coming together as a panel to make a joint recommendation. Assessment Guidance is published for each funding scheme to provide further information as to how applications are scored.

All recommendations are put to the Bòrd’s Senior Management Team for approval.  If you are recommended to receive over £50,000, the recommendation needs approval of our Policy and Resources Committee.  If you are recommended to receive over £100,000, the recommendation needs approval of our Board.

Can we include in-kind contributions in our budget?

Yes you can.  Any time or resources that you are contributing voluntarily to the project can be included as an in-kind contribution (and should be included as both expenditure and income on your budget).  These in-kind contributions can also be included towards the 20% of funding that you are expected to provide from sources other than Bòrd na Gàidhlig for relevant schemes.

More information on what constitutes in-kind contributions can be found here: https://www.creativescotland.com/contact-us/enquiries/funding/your-budget/what-are-in-kind-contributions

Can we include our budget in a different format instead of the one in the application form?

Yes, if you prefer to submit your budget as a supporting document (e.g. an Excel workbook) please feel free to do so and include a note in the application form that you have done so.

Do we need to stick to the word limits in the application forms?

The word limits in the applications are generally guides as to how much information we are looking for, but you can go over them if you would like.

Try to be succinct with your answers where possible, but if you feel something requires further explanation please consider including a supporting document with your application outside of the form itself.

Do we need to complete the application form in Gaelic?

No, we welcome applications in either Gaelic or English although we’d encourage you to use Gaelic as far as possible.  Your application will not be adversely affected because of spelling or grammar errors.

Our organisation does not have a bank account, can we apply?

For our funding agreements we require you to have a bank account in the name of your organisation to allow us to make payments.

If you are in the process of setting up a bank account for your organisation, we would still encourage you to apply, however if you have yet to begin the process of starting an account then you are unlikely to be able to start your project in time.

Our organisation does not have a constitution, can we apply?

We require all organisations who apply to us for funding to have a constitution or memorandum and articles of association and a committee (with at least a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer who are different people).

Examples of constitutions that can be easily adapted for your uses are available from the SCVO: https://scvo.scot/support/setting-up-a-charity/write-your-constitution

What policies do we need as an organisation to apply?

The only requirements we have are for organisations policy-wise (beyond a founding document) are that projects involving children or vulnerable people must have a Safeguarding policy in place (and we recommend all organisations have one even if they do not work in this area).  Helpful information on safeguarding is available via the SCVO here: https://scvo.scot/support/running-your-organisation/staff-volunteers/safeguarding

We also recommend that organisations consider having a Gaelic policy, Equal Opportunities/Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy, and an Environmental statement/policy.  If you have any questions about these please feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you develop a policy that suits your needs.

Can we apply to more than one Bord na Gàidhlig fund?

You cannot apply for support for the same project through multiple Bord na Gàidhlig funds, however there is no limit on the number of different projects we are willing to support – so if you have different projects that are suitable for different funding schemes please feel free to apply.

If our application is successful, will we always receive the sum we asked for?

Not always, we may decide to offer a lower amount than you asked for either because of pressure on our budget or because we believe that a lower amount is more appropriate for your project, or because we only choose to fund part of your project.  You can ask us for feedback on your application if you would like for more details.

Can we apply for a project in partnership with another organisation?

Yes, we encourage partnership working wherever possible.  For the purposes of our funding agreements one organisation will need to be the “lead organisation” to enter into the agreement officially and we will only pay the funding to that organisation, but we encourage different organisations to work together in any way possible.

Can we apply for projects that last longer than 1 year?

Typically our funding schemes are open to funding projects for 12 months at most, however if you can demonstrate to us the value of providing funding for a longer period of time and can show a track record of delivering projects with our funding we are open to discussing longer-term options with you. You can also re-apply to our annual schemes as many times as you wish. Please get in touch with us before making any long-term application.

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