A Gaelic Language Plan, setting out how the language will be promoted and developed locally, has been published by East Lothian Council.

The plan highlights how the Council intends to promote the use of Gaelic in service planning and delivery, as well as being taken into account when drafting new policies and considering new strategies.

It goes on to set out key considerations for the use of Gaelic as part of the Council’s corporate identity and public information.

The plan has been prepared in accordance with the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, which seeks to secure the status of the Gaelic language as an official language of Scotland commanding equal respect to the English language, in line with the requirements of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the executive non-departmental public body with responsibility for promoting the language’s development and providing advice to the Scottish Ministers on Gaelic issues.

The 2011 census recorded 728 people in East Lothian with some understanding or ability to speak, read or write Gaelic.

Provost John McMillan said:

“I welcome publication of East Lothian Council's first Gaelic Language Plan, which reflects our contribution to enhancing the profile of the language and providing more opportunities for people to access information in, and engage with, the Gaelic language.

“This supports the Scottish Government’s vision of safeguarding the future sustainability of Gaelic. We see our plan as a starting point for developing and improving our current Gaelic provision, in line with legislative requirements.

“While Lowland Scots historically had more profile in East Lothian, there are examples of some local place names having had Gaelic origins such as Cuil Choinnich (Cockenzie), Craobhbarraidh (Carberry), Fan Taisidh (Phantassie), and An garbh-Allt (Garvald).

“The Jacobite army that fought in the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) was largely made up of Gaelic speaking Highland clansmen and the interest in commemorating the Battle has resulted in the provision of some bi-lingual road signs and place names around the battlefield site.

“The Council website now includes a translation function enabling folk to read information in Gaelic, while Gaelic Medium learning is available to children and young people on application, via a partnership arrangement with City of Edinburgh Council.

“The newly-published Gaelic Language Plan gives East Lothian Council a basis on which to deliver the appropriate promotion and consideration of the Gaelic language for the next five years.”

Daibhidh Boag, Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Director of Language Planning and Community Developments, said:

“We welcome the publication of East Lothian Council’s Gaelic Langauge Plan and their commitment to the promotion of Gaelic language and culture.  The plan contributes to the aim of the National Gaelic Language Plan that Gaelic is used more often, by more people and in a wider range of situations.”

The plan is available in both English and Gaelic here. 

Published: Monday, 17th May 2021