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Research reveals value of Gaelic to businesses and communities in Scotland

11th November 2014

The economic and social value of Gaelic as a unique asset for Scotland is the focus of a pioneering study which is published today.

Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has led a partnership project to research ways in which Gaelic is currently being used to deliver economic and social benefits to businesses, social enterprises and communities, and how its impact can be maximised.

Entitled Ar Stòras Gàidhlig (Our Gaelic Resource), the resulting report demonstrates how the language is currently being used to add value in a wide variety of circumstances and highlights its considerable potential to bring further benefits to businesses, communities and individuals.

HIE collaborated with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Scottish Natural Heritage, Creative Scotland, The Highland Council, Argyll and Bute Council, and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to commission DC Research to gather information from businesses, communities and social enterprises which currently use Gaelic.

Almost 70% of businesses consulted said that Gaelic is an asset to their activities. More than half of businesses (60%) and 85% of community organisations who responded to the survey stated that Gaelic features as a key element of their work.

The majority of businesses which recognised Gaelic as an asset were located in the Outer Hebrides, the Highlands, Greater Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Argyll and Bute.

Examining data from the respondents, the researchers were able to quantify that the combined impact on turnover which was attributable to their use of Gaelic totalled £5.6m.

From this result, they calculated that the potential economic value of Gaelic as an asset to the wider Scottish economy could be from £81.6m to £148.5m a year.

Director of Strengthening Communities with HIE, Rachael McCormack, said: "When we talk about Gaelic, the emphasis is often on the need for public support to ensure the language can survive and grow. Until now, much less has been said about its important role as a valuable economic and community asset, which has great potential to make a positive and measurable contribution to Scotland.

"Our new study demonstrates that Gaelic not only plays a unique role in Scottish culture, but can be viewed and used as an asset in a range of fields, particularly the sectors of creative industries; food and drink; education and learning, heritage and tourism.

"These findings lay a baseline for further research and will inform actions which HIE and our partners will take in future to support businesses and communities which can benefit from developing their use of Gaelic, and make a wider contribution to overall economic growth."

Bòrd na Gàidhlig Ceannard (CEO), John Angus MacKay said: "The findings of this research demonstrate emphatically that the currently modest investment in Gaelic translates into significant economic contribution, not just in the Highlands and Islands but in the Central belt of Scotland as well. Gaelic has international as well as national recognition. We have known for some time through previous studies that, relative to its size, the Gaelic community punches well above its weight in its contribution in a range of sectors, and this reinforces and expands on the previous baseline. Loyalty to language and culture is a powerful motivating force. We are enormously encouraged by the growing support for Gaelic at grassroots and institutional levels, and the economic, as well as social, cultural and linguistic, benefits that accrue from concerted action."

Minister for Gaelic Alasdair Allan said: "Gaelic is part of our identity and culture and is used every day in communities across Scotland. This report highlights for the first time, ways in which businesses and other organisations are capitalising on the language to generate economic value. These are encouraging findings and I hope to see many more organisations benefit in the future by adopting similar approaches and building on this success."

Several examples of businesses currently using Gaelic as an asset are featured in the full report, including An Lanntair Arts Centre in Stornoway. Gaelic is a strong element of the An Lanntair brand, and the centre features bilingual signage in its building, advertising and other promotional materials, as well as curating exhibitions which celebrate and promote Gaelic culture.

Other businesses which the researchers highlighted as case studies in using Gaelic as an asset include leading Scottish TV production company mneTV, based in Glasgow; Aros Visitor Centre and Arts Centre, Skye; Feisean nan Gàidheal and Blas festivals across the Highlands and Islands, and the Port Charlotte Hotel, Islay.

Many communities who took part in the survey regarded tourism as one of the main areas where there is strong potential to develop and enhance the role of Gaelic as an economic asset.

The three most common benefits of using Gaelic in communities according to the research were increased local pride, greater attachment of people to their communities, and growth in Gaelic-related job opportunities.

HIE has provided funding over many years to a large number of organisations using Gaelic as an asset, including the Scotland-wide cultural agency Fèisean nan Gàidheal, leading Gaelic publisher Acair, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture - Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

Ar Stòras Gàidhlig is available in full and summary forms on the Highlands and Islands Enterprise website at www.hie.co.uk/Gaelicresearch

Rannsachadh a' sealltainn luach na Gàidhlig do ghnothachasan is choimhearsnachdan ann an Alba

Tha an luach eaconamach is sòisealta aig Gàidhlig mar so-mhaoin àraid do dh'Alba aig cridhe rannsachadh ùr a tha ga fhoillseachadh an-diugh.

Tha a' bhuidheann leasachaidh Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd ’s nan Eilean (HIE) air a bhith a’ stiùireadh pròiseact com-pàirteachais gus rannsachadh a dhèanamh air na dòighean anns a bheil Gàidhlig ga cleachadh an-dràsta gus buannachdan eaconamach is sòisealta a thoirt do ghnothachasan, iomairtean sòisealta agus do choimhearsnachdan, agus mar a ghabhas an fheum as fheàrr fhaighinn às a’ bhuaidh seo.

Leis an tiotal Ar Stòras Gàidhlig, tha an aithisg a thàinig às a’ sealltainn mar a tha a’ chànan an-dràsta ga cleachdadh gus luach a chur ann an raon farsaing de shuidheachaidhean agus tha e a’ tarraing aire chun a’ chomais nach beag a th’ ann gus buannachdan a bharrachd a thoirt do ghnothachasan, choimhearsnachdan agus do dhaoine fa leth.

Bha HIE ag obrachadh an lùib Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Dualchas Nàdair na h-Alba, Alba Cruthachail, Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd, Comhairle Earra-Ghàidheal agus Bhòid, agus Comhairle nan Eilean Siar airson coimisean a thoirt do DC Research gus fiosrachadh a thionail bho ghnothachasan, choimhearsnachdan is iomairtean sòisealta a tha an-dràsta a’ cleachdadh Gàidhlig.

Bha faisg air 70% de ghnothachasan ris an deach bruidhinn a’ cumail a-mach gun robh Gàidhlig na so-mhaoin dha na gnìomhan aca. Bha còrr is leth de na gothachasan (60%) agus 85% de na buidhnean coimhearsnachd a fhreagair an t-suirbhidh ag ràdh gun robh Gàidhlig a’ nochdadh mar phrìomh eileamaid den cuid obrach.

Bha a’ mhòr-chuid de ghnothachasan a bha ag aithneachadh Gàidhlig mar so-mhaoin steidhte ann an Innse Gall, air Ghàidhealtachd, ann am Baile Ghlaschu, Dùn Èideann, agus Earra-Ghàidheal agus Bòid.

A’ sgrùdadh dàta bhon luchd-freagairt, chaidh aig luchd-rannsachaidh air dèanamh a-mach gun robh a’ bhuaidh iomlan a bh’ aig cleachdadh na Gàidhlig air tionndadh a’ ruigsinn £5.6 millean.

Bhon bhuil seo, dh’obraich iad a-mach gum faodadh gum biodh an luach eaconamach comasach aig Gàidhlig mar so-mhaoin eadar £81.6m agus £148.5m gach bliadhna.

Thuirt Stiùiriche Neartachadh Choimhearsnachdan aig HIE, Raoinaid NicCarmaig: "Nuair a bhios sinn a’ bruidhinn air Gàidhlig, tha an cuideam mar as trice air an fheum a th’ ann airson taic a’ phobaill gus dèanamh cinnteach gum fàs a’ chànan is gum fan i beò. Gu ruige seo, chaidh nas lugha a ràdh mun dreuchd chudromach a th’ aig a’ Ghàidhlig mar so-mhaoin luachmhor eaconamach is choimhearsnachd, le comas ann tabhartas glè mhòr a thoirt do dh’Alba.

“Tha an rannsachadh ùr seo a’ sealltainn gu bheil Gàidhlig na pàirt àraid de chultar na h-Alba ach cuideachd gun gabh coimhead oirre agus a cleachdadh mar so-mhaoin ann an raon de shuidheachaidhean, gu h-àraid ann an roinnean nan gnìomhachasan cruthachail; biadh is deoch; foghlam is ionnsachadh, dualchas is turasachd.

“Tha torraidhean an rannsachaidh a’ suidheachadh bunait airson rannsachadh a bharrachd agus bidh iad mar stìùir airson gnìomhan a bheir HIE agus com-pàirtichean air adhart san àm ri teachd gus taic a thoirt do ghnothachasan is choimhearsnachdan a gheibh buannachd bho bhith a’ leasachadh na dòighean anns a bheil iad a’ cleachdadh na Gàidhlig, agus a’ cur nas motha ri fàs eaconamach san fharsaingeachd."

Thuirt Iain Aonghas MacAoidh, Ceannard Bòrd na Gàidhlig: “Tha toraidhean an rannsachaidh seo a’ sealltainn gu soillieir gu bheil an t-airgead a thathar a’ cur a dh’ionnsaigh na Gàidhlig, suim nach eil cho mòr aig an ìre seo, a’ ciallachadh gu bheilear a’ cur gu sònraichte ris an eaconamaidh, chan ann a-mhàin air Ghàidhealtachd is anns na h-Eileanan ach cuideachd ann am meadhan na dùthcha. Tha Gàidhlig air a h-aithneachadh gu h-eadar-nàiseanta cho math ri gu nàiseanta. Tha fios air a bhith againn bho chionn greis, tro rannsachaidhean eile, gu bheil coimhearsnachd na Gàidhlig, a rèir a meud, a’ buileachadh tòrr a bharrachd na bhiodh dùil a thaobh mar a tha i a’ cur ri raon de roinnean, agus tha seo a’ daingneachadh agus a’ leudachadh air slatan-tomhais a bha stèidhte roimhe. Tha dìlseachd a thaobh cànan is cultar na spàirn chumhachdach, bhrosnachail. Tha sinn air ar mòr mhisneachadh leis an taic, a tha a’ sìor fhàs, airson na Gàidhlig aig ìrean bunasach is bunaiteach, agus na buannachdan eaconamach, cho math ri sòisealta, cultarail is cànanach, a thig bho ghnìomhan co-obrachail."


A rèir Alasdair Allan, Ministear na Gàidhlig: “Tha Gàidhlig na pàirt de ar fèin-aithne agus cultair, agus air a cleachdadh gach latha ann an coimhearsnachdan air feadh na h-Alba. Tha an aithisg seo a’ togail aire, airson a’ chiad uair, chun na dòighean anns a bheil gnothachasan is buidhnean eile a’ dèanamh feum dhen chànan airson luach eaconamach fhaighinn. Tha na th’ anns an aithisg seo a’ toirt misneachd dhuinn agus tha min dòchas mòran a bharrachd bhuidhnean fhaicinn a’ faighinn buannachd às a’ Ghàidhlig anns na bliadhnachan ri teachd le bhith a’ leantainn nan eisimpleirean seo agus a’ togail air soirbheas."

Tha grunn eisimpleirean de na gnothachasan a tha an-dràsta a’ cleachdadh Gàidhlig mar so-mhaoin rim faicinn ann an aithisg fhèin, nam measg Ionad Ealain An Lanntair ann an Steòrnabhagh. Tha Gàidhlig mar eileamaid làidir aig An Lanntair, agus tha an t-ionad a’ cleachdadh soidhnichean dà-chànanach san togalach, ann an sannasachd agus ann an stuthan foillseachaidh eile, cho math ri bhith a’ cur air bhonn taisbeanaidhean a tha a’ mealadh is a’ cur air adhart cultar na Gàidhlig.

Am measg na gnothachan eile a thagh luchd-rannsachaidh mar eisimpleirean airson a bhith a’ cleachdadh na Gàidhlig mar so-mhaoin tha a’ companaidh telebhisean Albannach mneTV a tha stèidhte ann an Glaschu; Ionad Luchd-turais is Ealain Àrois san Eilean Sgitheanach; Fèisean nan Gàidheal agus fèisean Blas air feadh na Gàidhealtachd ’s nan Eilean, agus Taigh-òsta Port Charlotte ann an Ìle.

Bha mòran choimhearsnachdan a ghabh com-pàirt san t-suirbhidh a’ faicinn turasachd mar aon de na prìomh raointean far a bheil comas làidir dreuchd na Gàidhlig mar so-mhaoin eaconamach a leasachadh is a leudachadh.

’S iad na trì buannachdan as cumanta a thig an lùib cleachdadh na Gàidhlig ann an coimhearsnachdan, a-rèir an rannsachaidh, gu bheil luach nas motha ga shealtainn san sgìre ionadail, ceangal nas motha aig na daoine ris na coimhearsnachdan, agus fàs ann an cothroman cosnaidh co-cheangailte ri Gàidhlig.

Tha HIE air a bhith a’ toirt maoineachadh thairis air mòran bhliadhnachan do ghrunn bhuidhnean a tha a’ cleachdadh Gàidhlig mar so-mhaoin, a’ gabhail a-steach a’ bhuidheann cultarail thar-Alba Fèisean nan Gàidheal, a’ phrìomh fhoillsichear Acair, agus an Ionad Nàiseanta airson Cànan is Cultar na Gàidhlig - Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

Tha Ar Stòras Gàidhlig ri fhaighinn gu tur no mar ghearr-chunntas air a

 

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