Gaelic arts wins £5m funding

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Eleven organisations involved in promoting Gaelic through arts, education and digital services have been awarded more than £5 million worth of funding over the next three years by Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Included for the first time is Theatre Gu Leòr, which brings Gaelic theatre to audiences across Scotland and supports both contemporary writing, and the creation of a new repertoire of Gaelic drama.

The award of £165,000 over three years means the theatre group now has a permanent base in Partick, Glasgow, from which it can develop a creative learning programme, including Staran, a new initiative which focuses on professional skills development for Gaelic-speaking writers, actors and directors.

A new aspect of the Scottish Government-backed funding arrangements – awarded to groups which follow Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s corporate plan to promote and support the growth of the Gaelic language and culture – sees the finance awarded over a three-year cycle rather than just one year.

The move by Bòrd na Gàidhlig aims to allow those awarded funding the opportunity to put longer-term plans in place, a move which has been widely welcomed.

Among the other groups which will continue to receive funding are Comunn na Gàidhlig, (£1.36 million), which aims to enthuse and enable young people and parents to use the language more often by delivering a wide range of fun and attractive activities outwith the classroom.

An Comunn Gàidhealach, which organises the Royal National Mòd and local Mòds (£300,000) and Stornoway-based Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig (£930,000), which will use its funding to continue promoting its Gaelic culture by developing its resources and support to pupils, teachers and parents involved in Gaelic education.

Muireann Kelly, artistic director at Theatre Gu Leòr, said: ‘We are delighted not just with the funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig but the fact that it’s a three-year cycle. This gives us the stability and platform to plan ahead. In our new workspace Gaelic is used every day, there are hot desks for Gaelic artists, we are able to offer training and work placements, and we have launched our new initiative, Staran, which is a pathway to developing this sector.’

Other organisations awarded funding include Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle, Islay, £310,500 to deliver a programme of events and classes to promote Gaelic among residents on Islay and Jura; Ceòlas Uibhist, £207,000, to focus on promoting Gaelic culture and help deliver its ambitious project to create a centre for Gaelic music, dance and culture in South Uist in partnership with Lewis Castle College UHI; Faclair na Gàidhlig, £225,000, to develop a historical dictionary of the Gaelic language; and Acair, in Lewis, £171,000 to publish new high-quality Gaelic books.