The nation's main arts funding body, Creative Scotland, is to make its first concerted efforts to back the Scots language and culture.

In its annual plan, launched today, the funding body pledges to develop a Scots Language policy and to ensure "it considers all aspects of Scots in the cultural life of the country".

The body already has a Gaelic language plan and supports Gaelic activities, but the new Scots policy will be new for Creative Scotland.

This month the body will unveil its film strategy, as well as reviewing both literature and the visual arts.

The popular artist bursaries will be phased out in favour of 'open project funding' which can be accessed by individuals and companies, with grants between £1,000 and £150,000.

'Targeted' funds will also be reduced and there will be no new capital funding projects announced this year.

Janet Archer, Creative Scotland's chief executive, said: "Obviously this organisation is working in a Scottish context and our responsibility is to understand Scottish culture in all of its forms. It's something the Government is very keen on us taking it into account.

"What we now need to do to is actually work out what that means, and what we don't want to do is do it by ourselves, we want to bring the right experts into the mix."