Gaelic promotion role for Community Planning Board
During a meeting of the Partnership Board held in Inverness last week, the Highland Community Planning Partnership agreed to promote Gaelic in relevant areas of their work.
Organisations including The Highland Council, NHS Highland, HIE, SNH, Police Scotland, Fire and Rescue Scotland, UHI, Highlife Highland and the Highland Third Sector Interface agreed to adopt a joined-up approach to Gaelic Strategic Planning and Development through the sharing of experience, skills and resources. Through more collegiate working, the Partnership will also raise the profile of, and increase support for Gaelic across the Highlands.
Gaelic author and broadcaster Roddy Maclean gave the Partnership Board a well- received presentation which emphasised the important role Gaelic language and culture plays in many aspects of living and working in the Highlands.
He detailed Gaelic elements in the key themes of heritage and having a sense of place, the environment, education, health and the economy. He also flagged up the findings of the recent independent report commissioned by the Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and other partners that showed 60% of businesses surveyed felt that their use of Gaelic enhanced the value of the language within the community. Over half the businesses said that Gaelic is an asset in particular when used to promote the creative industries, tourism, food and drink. In addition, the Research also showed that the potential value of Gaelic to Scotland’s economy was between £82 million and £149 million.
Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry said: “Given the support for Gaelic across the Highlands and the importance of its future health and growth, Roddy did a great job in presenting the Board with a picture that captured just how important the language and culture is. It was very relevant as it underlined the link we have under the Single Outcome Agreement between the Highland Community Planning Partnership and the Scottish Government in terms of raising the profile of Gaelic as the Agreement particularly focuses on economic recovery, growth and early years which have all been identified as a priority.
He added: “Gaelic arts, culture and heritage are important contributors to employment, tourism and area regeneration and the recent survey clearly shows important role as a valuable economic and community asset, which has great potential to make a positive and measurable contribution to Scotland. From Roddy’s presentation I was fascinated by the benefits of being able to speak Gaelic for young people’s learning across other subjects and in preventing ill health in older age, especially in the links with certain disease such as dementia.”