SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has welcomed yesterday’s publication of legislative proposals to support the growth of both the Gaelic and Scots languages across Scotland for the years to come.

One of the key proposals in the Scottish Languages Bill is the creation of new Areas of Linguistic Significance, designated by local authorities, which would give Gaelic-speaking communities a greater say in how the language is supported locally.

The Bill also provides greater support for Gaelic medium education and strengthens and adjusts the functions of Bòrd na Gàidhlig to help it continue to contribute to the promotion of Gaelic.

Commenting, Alasdair Allan said:

“I am grateful to the Cabinet Secretary and her officials for their work on this Bill, which seeks to provide robust support for the growth of our nation’s national languages’ use and acquisition across Scotland. The Bill also recognises that there are some areas where tailored support will be vital in protecting our remaining Gaelic-speaking communities, in the context of the new Areas of Linguistic Significance.

“The future vitality of the Gaelic language is at a critical juncture at present, and it is my hope that the provisions within this Bill, as well as further grassroots and community-led efforts, will help secure and strengthen the language’s position for the generations to come. I also warmly welcome the provisions in the Bill for the recognition of and promotion of the Scots language, which is often still misunderstood and stigmatised even today.

“I am looking forward to scrutinising the text of this Bill in greater detail in the coming days, and I would welcome any views from constituents and Gaelic-speaking organisations on the Bill’s contents.”

The published Bill can be viewed here: Scottish Languages Bill – Bills (proposed laws) – Scottish Parliament | Scottish Parliament Website

The Bill will give local authorities the power to designate Areas of Linguistic Significance. These are areas which may be designated if the area has a significant number of people with Gaelic language skills, is historically connected with the use of Gaelic, has Gaelic educational provision or has significant Gaelic activity.

The Scottish Languages Bill Consultation Analysis Report was published earlier this year.

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