Page last updated at 14:59 GMT, Monday, 9 February 2009

Funding boost for Scots language

Linda Fabiani
Ms Fabiani will host a conference on the Scots language in Stirling

Projects which promote the Scots language are to be funded by the Scottish Government.

Culture Minister Linda Fabiani said cash would go to initiatives such as the Scots Language Dictionaries (SLD) and the Scots Language Centre.

The announcement came as delegates gathered in Stirling to discuss the findings of an audit into the language.

Exact funding arrangements have yet to be finalised but the minister promised to maintain current levels.

At present, the two projects attract nearly 200,000 of funding, including 156,000 for SLD and 42,855 for the Perth-based Scots Language Centre.

Both bodies are supported by the Scottish Arts Council, which intends to stop funds in September.

The minister is hosting a conference at the University of Stirling where members of the Scots language community are calling for more to be done to promote and develop it.

'Scottish hearts'

Speaking ahead of a visit to St Ninians primary school in Stirling, where pupils are taking part in the "Words for Weans" project, Ms Fabiani said it was incumbent upon the government to "protect" and "nurture" Scots as a cultural asset.

She said: "It seemed odd to me that the Scots Language Dictionaries and Scots Language Centre have never had funding certainty.

"Scots is a living language to be cherished and supported.

"That is why I am announcing today that the Scottish Government will assume responsibility for directly funding these two bodies for the remainder of this spending review period."

Broadcaster and Scots language advocate Billy Kay added: "In the future we may well look back and regard this as an historic day for the language that is close to so many Scottish hearts at home and abroad."

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