New Gaelic language plan will focus on climate change, biodiversity and landscape

20 December 2023
Launch of Gaelic Language Plan 2023-26
The new Historic Environment Scotland Gaelic Language Plan 2023-26 sets out a commitment to communities and the preservation of intangible cultural heritage.

Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) vision to help safeguard and promote Gaelic language and culture is outlined in their newly released Gaelic Language Plan 2023-2026.

Community and partnership working sit at the core of the new plan and will build on the work the Gaelic team have undertaken to date. The previous plan created the role of Oifigear Adhartachadh na Gàidhlig (Gaelic Outreach Officer) that has been instrumental in building connections, listening to, and working with communities, groups, businesses, and public authorities. This work will continue as HES seek to support Gaelic speakers, learners, and those interested in Gaelic cultural heritage to connect with, celebrate, and enjoy the historic environment.

Celebrating success

The new Gaelic Language Plan will run to November 2026 and builds on the success of the 2018-2023 plan. The work over the past five years has included launching the organisation’s first national Gaelic competition Sgrìobh is Aithris (Write and Recite) for children and young people aged 5 to 17, undertaking research on the connections between Gaelic language and culture at eleven HES sites, expanding the Gaelic retail offer for Historic Scotland, and engaging with communities about Gaelic intangible cultural heritage (ICH). The Gaelic Language Plan 2023-2026 has been created following a consultation process, incorporating feedback from the public.

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2023-26 plans

Over the next three years, the Gaelic Language Plan seeks to expand educational outreach and develop opportunities to further learn about topical subjects such as climate change, biodiversity, and landscape through Gaelic. It also sets out plans to incorporate Gaelic into the organisation’s grants and funding activity and to raise awareness of opportunities relevant to Gaelic-speaking areas and communities, or those promoting the language and culture.

Catriona Morrison, Gaelic Language Policy Manager at HES, said, “Gaelic has played a vital part in defining and shaping Scotland’s unique history and heritage. We look forward to continuing to work with communities, organisations, and others to increase opportunities to learn and use Gaelic and celebrate Gaelic language and culture, so it can be shared with current and new audiences. The new Gaelic Language Plan highlights our commitment to ensuring we continue to play our part in supporting Gaelic to thrive for generations to come.”

Read the new Gaelic Language Plan on the HES website.

Report and image copyright Historic Environment Scotland.