Highland Council is to receive £3 million over two years towards building a new £10millioin Gaelic school in Portree, on the isle of Skye.
Minister for Scotland’s Languages Alasdair Allan made the announcement during a visit to the site of the new school, where building work will begin in 2015.
An additional £250,000 will also be invested in Gaelic learning for early years, to encourage sustained growth in the number of pupils going through Gaelic medium education (GME) and encourage parents to choose bilingual schooling.
Mr Allan said: “The new Gaelic school in Portree is being created as a result of extensive consultation and a continued demand for parents to offer children bilingual education.
“This funding recognises the growing interest in Gaelic medium education in the Highlands, and all across Scotland, and is part of our commitment to encourage a new generation of speakers.
“The additional £250,000 for early years will support younger children and will build on the excellent work that Highland Council has done to take Gaelic beyond the classroom and create activities for all ages to use the language in day to day life.
“What we have seen in the last year is that offering Gaelic to young people is making the greatest impact on halting the decline in the language with the most recent census figures showing an increase in all categories for the under 20s for the first time.”
He was joined by Eilean a Cheò Ward Councillors Drew Millar and Hamish Fraser, who is Chairman of the Council’s Gaelic Implementation Group.
Councillor Fraser said: “The support of the Scottish Government for this exciting new Gaelic Medium Primary School is very welcome indeed.
“Skye is a heartland of the Gaelic language in the Highlands and I have absolutely no doubt that the new standalone school in Portree will prove a great success and nurture many more Gaelic speakers.