Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 17:42 UK

Holyrood supports tartan register

The tartan industry is a major earner for the Scottish economy

Plans to create a new national register of tartan have passed the first Holyrood hurdle.

Plans to enshrine the register officially in law were backed by the Scottish Parliament on Thursday.

The bill, aimed at capitalising on interest around the world, would see a database being set up in Edinburgh.

Holyrood's economy, energy and tourism committee backed the first stage of a bill, put forward by Tory MSP Jamie McGrigor earlier this month.

The bill will now move ahead to the next stage of parliamentary scrutiny.

There are about 7,000 different tartans, with another 150 designs being created every year.

'Tartan Mecca'

Under Mr McGrigor's plan woven and printed patterns would be registered for a fee of between 80 and 100.

A Conservative spokesman said: "It is important that we keep Scotland as the Mecca for tartan worldwide and this national register will go a long way in helping to achieve this.

"Tartan is an icon of Scotland, one that most countries would very much welcome for themselves."

MSPs previously heard that the tartan industry contributes about 350m to the Scottish economy.

Total costs could reach 75,000 a year for the project, which MSPs were told could run at a loss.

The National Archives of Scotland would create and maintain the register, with input from industry experts.

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11 Sep 07 |  Scotland
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