Survey provides boost for Gaelic broadcasting plans

PLANS for the creation of a digital TV channel dedicated to Gaelic language programming have been boosted by a study into its potential audience.

In a survey of 1,001 people across Scotland, conducted for the Gaelic Media Service (GMS), five per cent of respondents said they spoke the language well, with a further seven per cent say they knew a few words, while almost half said they would tune into a Gaelic channel.

The proposed channel would be run by both GMS – a Scottish Government-funded body – and BBC Scotland.

But the BBC Trust – on behalf of Licence Fee payers – late last year said it needed to be convinced there was an audience and educational benefits before approving the use of BBC funds.

The GMS survey also found that 46 people of people asked were interested in Gaelic culture and 19 per cent said they would like to learn more about Gaelic.

Welcoming the research findings, Donald Campbell, chief executive of GMS, said: “These figures show that we are pursuing the right strategy by targeting a Scotland-wide audience for the Gaelic Digital Service.

“It is extremely encouraging to see that so many people have a connection with Gaelic.”