£4 million in capital investment for Gaelic education and community initiatives.

Failte plaque
Susan Thomson

Gaelic projects aimed at increasing education provision and the use of innovative technologies are to receive a share of £4 million funding.

Five initiatives have been awarded funding as part of the Gaelic Capital Fund for 2023-24, including the development of the world’s first indigenous language virtual immersive hub on Islay. The new hub will utilise state-of-the-art technology, including virtual, immersive and mixed reality, as part of a unique Gaelic learning experience. Phase one of the project is expected to be completed in October this year.

Funding will also be allocated towards:

  • the creation of a Gaelic Community Learning Centre in Lionel Primary School on the Isle of Lewis
  • the establishment of the first ever Gaelic education unit at Thornliebank Primary School in East Renfrewshire
  • creating four new classrooms to meet increasing demand at Glasgow Gaelic School and a further two at Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar

Speaking during a visit to Stornoway, Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth said:

“There is clearly increasing demand for Gaelic medium education across Scotland, and the projects chosen ensure that support is there to meet that demand.

“We will build on the successes in Gaelic education when we present the Scottish Languages Bill to the Scottish Parliament during the current Parliamentary term.”

Western Isles Council Director of Education, Skills and Children’s Services William Macdonald said:

“Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is delighted to work with the Scottish Government in developing Lionel School in Lewis with a focus on building a Gaelic community within the school.  Working with local and national partners this development has huge potential in using Gaelic in everyday contexts in the community. The financial support from the Scottish Government is key to facilitating the development of the school and we look forward to working with them and the community in taking this exciting project forward.”