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Saturday, 13 October, 2001, 08:34 GMT 09:34 UK
Funding boost for Gaelic
Stornoway Harbour
This year's Mod was opened in Stornoway
Gaelic broadcasting and teaching has been handed a 1m boost at the start of the annual Royal National Mod.

The funding will be spread across a number of projects, including 100,000 for the Mod's organisers to support their decision to hold the event in the Western Isles.

The funding was announced by Alasdair Morrison, the deputy minister for Gaelic, as he opened this year's festival in Stornoway on Friday evening.

It is our aim to get everyone in the Gaelic community working together and supporting the good work that is being done for the language

Alasdair Morrison
The Royal National Mod is Scotland's premier Gaelic festival, featuring solo singing, choral and instrumental music, poetry, art, story-telling and drama.

The event, which was first held in Oban in 1892, attracts an estimated 2,500 competitors and 20,000 visitors each year from places as far afield as Canada and Australia.

This year's event, which runs until 19 October, is being held in the Western Isles for the first time since 1989.

"An Comunn itself has taken risks in choosing the Western Isles for the Mod this year," said Mr Morrison.

"The communities of Lewis, Harris, the Uists, Barra and Benbecula have the highest proportion of Gaelic speakers in Scotland.

Alasdair Morrison
Alasdair Morrison: "Working together"
"I am pleased that the executive will be providing an additional 100,000 to support this event in the heart of Gaeltach."

The 1m also includes an extra 450,000 for the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee to invest in capital equipment and to pay for more programmes.

Before the extra funding was announced, it was already set to receive 8.5m of the Scottish Executive's 13.3m budget for Gaelic in 2001-02.

There will also be 300,000 to cut the deficit at the Gaelic College on Skye, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, and an additional 60,000 for Lews Castle College.

Strengthening efforts

Storlann, which produces Gaelic teaching materials, will receive 100,000 and Lewis-based publisher Acair is to get 50,000.

Mr Morrison said: "These measures, which amount to 1m, will help strengthen the efforts of many here and across Scotland to support Gaelic."

He added that the Gaelic Advisory Group was working on a strategy for Gaelic.

"It is our aim to get everyone in the Gaelic community working together and supporting the good work that is being done for the language," he said.

See also:

08 Sep 00 | Scotland
Minister denies Gaelic confusion
02 Mar 00 | Scotland
Gaelic lessons for parliament
05 Feb 99 | Education
Go-ahead for first all-Gaelic school
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