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A Voice for Scotland

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Posted by 127/David Eyre

Scotland ’s Gaelic community is pushing for a dedicated television channel for the language.

In the Communications White Paper, the government promised it would consider the move, which was recommended by a Scottish Executive-appointed Gaelic Television Task Force and has received the backing of the Scottish Parliament ’s culture committee. The call for a dedicated channel reflects increasing dissatisfaction with the present set up of Gaelic broadcasting. Since 1991 Gaelic programmes have received state funding through the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee. The committee receives £8.5 million a year from the Scottish Executive. That amount has not increased since the committee was established and in real terms has fallen year on year. If it had kept up with inflation, the fund would now be worth £11.5 million. As a result the number of hours of Gaelic television broadcast in Scotland has fallen. There have also been complaints that Gaelic programmes on independent television have been consigned to graveyard slots late at night. The creation of a single channel under a new Gaelic Broadcasting Authority would offer the opportunity to create a financial structure more like that in Wales, where the Welsh-language channel S4C benefits from automatic increases linked to inflation. Useful links: The Gaelic Broadcasting Committee Gaelic Broadcasting Task Force Report

DATELINE: 25 January, 2010