Additional funding earmarked for Gaelic broadcasting service receives protection assurance

ADDITIONAL funding earmarked for the Gaelic broadcasting service, MG ALBA – one of the two partners in the Gaelic language TV channel, BBC ALBA – has been protected against possible Westminster budget cuts.

In a statement, the UK Government said: “In recognition of the need to continue to reduce the deficit and debt, the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement [last week] set out a necessary reduction in Whitehall departmental budgets. However, the Culture Secretary today confirmed the £1 million of extra funding in 2016 for Scottish Gaelic broadcasting, set out in the Spending Review earlier this year, would not be affected by these budget reductions.”

Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, is quoted in the statement, as saying: “The Scottish Gaelic language is an integral part of our incredibly diverse culture and its important we protect that diversity.

“MG ALBA plays a crucial role in the cultural and economic well-being of Scotland. I’m pleased that even in tough economic times we can continue supporting minority language broadcasting in Scotland.

“We are providing the funding certainty that the channel needs to continue bringing high-quality Gaelic language programmes to the small screen.”

In a MG ALBA statement, chief executive, Donald Campbell, said: “MG ALBA warmly welcomes the news this week that additional funding of £1 million from the UK Government will not be subject to forthcoming budgetary cuts and this reflects the commitment to BBC ALBA. We also have had strong support from the Scottish Government and those of us involved in the channel on a daily basis are acutely aware that we have to seek creative and innovative ways of utilising funding to maximum effect. It is a challenge that we rise to in order to drive forward our programme making which has proved over the last five years to have made a significant contribution to broadcasting and, more importantly, been very attractive to viewers.”