Bòrd na Gàidhlig yearly accounts are published

Bòrd na Gàidhlig received £5.2 million from the Scottish Government last year which it used to support various community organisations and fund placements for speakers of the language.

The organisation’s work was detailed in its annual report and accounts, published last week.

The Bòrd was recently criticised by public sector watchdog Audit Scotland, who had identified ineffective leadership, workforce planning and a lack of transparency within the organisation.

However, the Bòrd maintains that it continues to make strides in promoting and supporting Gaelic language and culture in Scotland.

Of the total budget of 5.2 million, £1.4 million covered core running costs, while £2.5 million went to Gaelic development funds – including a community grant scheme  – and £1.1 million towards helping public authorities to better promote the language.

Placements, in connections with the Year of Young People 2018, were funded at Galson Estate Trust,  Young Scot, An Àirigh, the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, An Lanntair, Taigh Chearsabhagh and Theatre Gu Leòr.

The Bòrd also provided funding for employing a digital officer within MG Alba to oversee the LearnGaelic.scot website.

The salaries of senior management were also detailed in the report. Chief executive Shona MacLennan earned between £90-95,000, while Daibhidh Boag’s director of language planning and community development post was worth over £80,000. Head of Corporate Services Alasdair MacKinnon received a package of between £65,000 and £70,000.

The report said the body had “helped thousands more children and young people learn and use Gaelic”, while it had also achieved an increase in the number of adults learning or enhancing their Gaelic skills nationally.

Interim chair Mary MacInnes said: “It has been heartening to see participation in learning and using Gaelic continue to grow, particularly among younger language activists, and many public bodies create their own Gaelic plans. The impact of these on the visibility and normalisation of Gaelic cannot be understated. Together, we are ensuring Gaelic’s place at the heart of Scottish national life.”

Chief executive Shona MacLennan cited work being undertaken to improve the organisation. She said: “We recognised the need to develop our leadership skills and work to increase openness and transparency across the organisation.

“We have been addressing these issues through the commissioning of a review of our remit and leadership structure, alongside a programme of development for senior managers. We also conducted an annual staff survey where we recognised a need to improve communication, engagement and wellbeing of our staff.  In order to address these, we are working towards the Investors in People standard.”

“Our work shows how Bòrd na Gàidhlig is committed to seeing Gaelic develop and flourish in Scotland.”