Scottish Languages Bill (Areas of Linguistic Significance)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 8 February 2024.

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Photo of Alasdair Allan Alasdair Allan Scottish National Party

7. To ask the Scottish Government what support will be put in place to assist local authorities in establishing “areas of linguistic significance”, as set out in the Scottish Languages Bill.

Gus faighneachd de Riaghaltas na h-Alba dè an taic a bhios ann do dh’ughdarrasan ionadail a tha airson àitichean a tha “sònraichte a thaobh cànain” a stèidheachadh, mar a chaidh a chur an làthair ann am Bile nan Cànan Albannach. (S6O-03084)

Photo of Jenny Gilruth Jenny Gilruth Scottish National Party

The designation of areas of linguistic significance will ultimately be a matter for local authorities. For areas that may wish to be designated as areas of linguistic significance, a range of Gaelic support and provision is already in place, which includes the central Scottish Government funding support, the commitments of public bodies and local activity from Gaelic community organisations. That support will be built on and strengthened by the new provisions in the Scottish Languages Bill. Guidance will also be prepared to assist local authorities in their process of considering areas in their local area that could benefit from designation.

Photo of Alasdair Allan Alasdair Allan Scottish National Party

Can the cabinet secretary say any more at present about whether the Scottish Government or Bòrd na Gàidhlig may seek to place a duty on local authorities to establish an area of linguistic significance where, for example, a high proportion of the population are Gaelic speakers?

Photo of Jenny Gilruth Jenny Gilruth Scottish National Party

As Dr Allan will be aware, it is fair to say that there is a range of opinions on the matter. However, I expect that, during the parliamentary consideration, views will be offered that suggest that the Scottish Government or Bòrd na Gàidhlig should have an enhanced role in the designation of areas of linguistic significance. We are still at a very early stage with the legislation, but I assure the member that I will seriously consider those views and any observations that the Education, Children and Young People Committee might wish to make.