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Last Updated: Friday, 23 March 2007, 08:43 GMT
Boost for Gaelic digital channel
GMS website
The new channel will cost between 16m and 17m
Gaelic broadcasting is to receive an extra 3m every year to help establish a Gaelic digital channel.

The Scottish Executive funding will be on top of the 8.7m already given to the service each year.

It is estimated that the channel currently being developed by the Gaelic Media Service (GMS) will cost between 16m and 17m.

The announcement was made by the Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson on a visit to the GMS offices in Stornoway.

Ms Ferguson said Scotland was enriched by the existence of Gaelic and that the executive was committed to creating a sustainable future for the language.

GMS will use the funding to commission a range of programmes to be broadcast when the new channel is launched later this year.

Patricia Ferguson
This funding demonstrates that we are serious about promoting the use of Gaelic in Scotland
Patricia Ferguson
Culture Minister

It will also receive an additional 100,000 to purchase the Scottish Media Group (SMG) Gaelic archive which it has built up over a number of years.

Ms Ferguson said: "This funding demonstrates that we are serious about promoting the use of Gaelic in Scotland.

"It also recognises our commitment to Gaelic broadcasting and reflects the importance of the language to our history and culture.

"Gaelic digital television should have a significant impact on the status and use of language, boosting the confidence of Gaelic native speakers and learners.

"It will also build artistic and technical skills and extend economic opportunities."

The minister said GMS and the BBC had made "significant progress" towards delivery of a dedicated Gaelic television service which would complement existing radio and online services already provided by the BBC.

"The acquisition of the huge Gaelic archive held by SMG will be a valuable resource for the new Gaelic digital TV service," she added.

GMS is working in partnership with the BBC to develop the Gaelic digital channel.

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