A RECORD number of people are expected to showcase the best of Gaelic music, arts and sport as the Royal National Mod gets under way next month.

Pupils from Bun Sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar were rehearsing ahead of the annual event, which will be held in Fort William for the first time in 10 years.

The Mod, organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, begins with a torchlight procession on October 13 before a week of competitions, with 3,600 people expected to take part.

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Last year’s event generated £2.5 million for the Western Isles, and organisers believe it will give a major boost to the local economy of Fort William and the surrounding area.

Highland Councillor, Alister Mackinnon, chairman of the Corporate Resources Committee, said: "The Mod puts Gaelic on local, national and international platforms, as it provides the opportunity to showcase the best of our language, culture, in the areas where we live, learn, and work.

“I believe that the Mòd will have a positive impact in the area and official studies show that it contributes hugely to the economy of the area where it is hosted."