Economic and social value of Gaelic an asset to Scotland

New research has revealed how Scottish Gaelic is an economic and social asset to Scotland.  A partnership project led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) development agency collaborated with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Scottish Natural Heritage, Creative Scotland, The Highland Council, Argyll and Bute Council, and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to commission the research. 

As reported in the Scottish newspaper Stornoway Gazette: 'Entitled Ar Stòras Gàidhlig (Our Gaelic Resource), the 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.'

It was estimated from 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.

The Stornoway Gazette article quotes Bòrd na Gàidhlig Ceannard (CEO), John Angus MacKay: “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.”

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