THE SCOTTISH Government has stepped in to save Gaelic television, after its funding was axed by the UK Government late last year.
Chancellor George Osborne announced in November that he would not renew a £1 million-a-year grant from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) ear-marked for BBC Alba.
However Alasdair Allan, the minister for Scotland’s languages, has announced the Scottish Government will provide an additional £1million to the service, making up the shortfall to ensure the future of Gaelic broadcasting in Scotland.
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The extra funding comes on top of core funding for MG ALBA - a public body which works in partnership with BBC Scotland to produce BBC Alba - of £11.8m in 2016/17.
Allan said: “I have no doubt that Gaelic broadcasting adds significant value to important areas of Gaelic development, whether that’s in education, in the community or at home.
“The impact and benefits of MG ALBA are felt across Scotland, and it has an impressive economic impact – this is unique and this funding will enable these areas to increase employment, skills and training...We are committed to creating a sustainable future in the Gaelic language, and to developing broadcasting and media industries in Scotland.”
Stuart Cosgrove, Scottish broadcaster, said that the UK's Government's decision to withdraw funding had struck him as "malicious and short sighted". "My argument is a familiar one that we need to support our indigenous language across the board from television to school provision," he added.
"There is always a huge backlash against Gaelic language when the debate comes up and at times it feels like monoglot bullying."
Maggie Cunningham, chair of MG ALBA, said the organisation was grateful to the Scottish Government for their continued support. "The Scottish Government has been an enthusiastic supporter of both our creative industries and the Gaelic language over many years," she added.
“MG ALBA is ambitious for the future of Scotland’s broadcasting sector, and is in a unique position to facilitate the next generation of talent - especially amongst independent producers."