UK government pledges £1m to Gaelic broadcasting

GAELIC broadcasters are to receive an extra £1 million of cash from the UK Government, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has announced.

Picture: TSPL

Danny Alexander confirmed MG ALBA would receive the additional sum, with the cash being available to the Gaelic Media Service this year.

Ministers have previously announced they would provide MG ALBA with £1 million for 2015-16, highlighting their support for minority language broadcasting.

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MG Alba was set up to ensure that high-quality Gaelic television programmes are made available to viewers in Scotland, with the service setting up the digital channel BBC ALBA in partnership with the BBC.

Mr Alexander said: “I am delighted to be able to announce another £1 million of funding for MG ALBA this year.

“As someone who grew up in the islands, I know how important this service is to Gaelic speakers throughout Scotland and want to see it continue to grow.

“Last year, I announced the first UK Government funding for this service, to help them invest in quality Gaelic language drama.

“MG ALBA came back to me earlier this year to say they could get this work going more quickly and I am delighted to be able to give a positive response today.

“The Gaelic language is an important part of the cultural heritage of this country, so it is right that the UK Government should help.

“This is an illustration of how Scotland has the best of both worlds - the UK’s broad shoulders coupled with devolution allows real investment in public services and the flexibility to spend it where it is needed.”

MG ALBA chair Maggie Cunningham said: “This additional support is most welcome as it helps enable the channel to drive forward its commitment to developing programme-making in key areas of the channel’s creative operations.

“It is very reassuring to see continuing support for Gaelic and BBC ALBA from across the political spectrum at both Scottish and UK levels.”