Page last updated at 05:50 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 06:50 UK

Cash boost for new Gaelic schools

school classroom
Ministers said demand for Gaelic places had surged

Funding of £1.5m to speed up the opening of new Gaelic medium schools in the Highlands has been announced.

The Scottish Government said the cash would help Highland Council accelerate plans for two schools, in Portree on Skye, and Fort William.

Work by the local authority to identify potential sites is currently under way.

Culture Minister Mike Russell said investing in education was an "absolute must" to create the next generation of Gaelic speakers.

Announcing the boost from the government's Gaelic schools capital fund, Mr Russell said: "Councils across Scotland have seen a huge increase in demand for Gaelic-medium places, so today's allocations are vital in helping them meet that demand.

"We are ensuring parents and children will be able to continue to make the choice of Gaelic-medium education in the knowledge that there will be a place available."

Highland Council Gaelic committee chairman Hamish Fraser welcomed the funding boost.



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