Revised plan boosts support for Gaelic language and learning
Posted on 19 Jun 2019
North Ayrshire Council has committed to continuing its strong support for Gaelic culture, language and learning through its newly-revised Gaelic Language Plan.
This second edition of the plan was approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday, June 11 and will now be submitted to Bòrd na Gàidhlig for consideration.
The plan, which will run until 2024, will further develop the approach laid out in the authority’s first Gaelic Language Plan, which has been in operation since 2014, with progress so far being commended by the Bòrd. Measures taken within this new version will continue to contribute to the National Gaelic Language Plan.
Funding for North Ayrshire’s Gaelic work comes from the Scottish Government.
As well as continuing the work outlined in the original document, the aims detailed in the new plan include developing capacity among early years, primary and secondary school staff to encourage Gaelic learning.
It is hoped to increase the number of bilingual staff and volunteers available to support learning opportunities for adults, and further support will be available to new and existing Gaelic language and cultural community groups, helping to grow the profile of the language, increase usage and encourage new learners.
The Council will also work closely with the Gaelic Forum in order to develop more Gaelic learning opportunities in the communities of North Ayrshire.
Plans to raise the profile of Gaelic in North Ayrshire include holding an annual Council Gaelic Day to promote the language and to increase the visibility of Gaelic by extending the range of phrases used on signage on Council buildings, vehicles, and adding Gaelic content to the website, as well as developing the capacity to use Gaelic within the Council’s work by offering training opportunities to staff.
The original Gaelic Language Plan, a statutory requirement for local authorities, provided a solid foundation on which to build, with current opportunities in North Ayrshire including an active Gaelic Forum, a substantial collection of Gaelic books in North Ayrshire libraries, Gaelic Bookbug sessions, imaginative work in culture, heritage and music, language development with early years and primary schools and community-based learning opportunities.
Gaelic Medium Education is currently provided through partnerships with neighbouring authorities.
Councillor Louise McPhater, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Along with our community groups, we have worked hard since 2014 to increase the visibility of the Gaelic language within North Ayrshire.
“This revised plan will see us build on the good work which has been done so far, further increasing the visibility of the language, increasing its status and playing our part in delivering the National Gaelic Language Plan.”