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Timely boost for Gaelic in business

21 May 2014

Issued by Comunn na Gàidhlig

Organisations across the Highlands and Islands are taking advantage of two funding streams aimed at promoting the use of Gaelic in the development of businesses and social enterprises.

The Highlands and Islands Enterprise-funded schemes, delivered through Comunn na Gàidhlig, focus on using the unique branding potential of Gaelic in marketing and on the development of new and innovative business ideas using the language, providing a boost to the region’s economy.

The Gaelic Innovation Scheme has already provided support to organisations such as the social enterprise Hebrides Alpha in their creation of Gaelic-themed clocks from recycled wooden pallets and Harris Tweed, and is supporting new ventures including a new bilingual online auction site,, for the Western Isles.

Robert Sinclair of the Hebrides Alpha said, “This funding has given us this fantastic opportunity to truly integrate Gaelic into our business thinking and provide our products and organisation with an authentic flavour of the Western Isles which locals and visitors seem to really appreciate.”

Donald I Macdonald of Sealgar, the company behind Siarshop, said, “It’s immensely exciting to be able to use this funding to bring an idea to fruition that otherwise would never have happened. It’s fantastic that help from CnaG and HIE was available to ensure this fully bilingual resource exists; as far as I know the first time eBay and the Gaelic language have been brought together.”

The “Marketing and New Markets using Gaelic” scheme gives businesses and other enterprises the opportunity to promote their organisations using Gaelic in the marketing and branding.

Reflecting on the success of the scheme, Dòmhnall MacNèill of Comunn na Gàidhlig said, “It has been fantastic to get another great response to this funding; with organisations from across the Highlands and Islands from Moray to Argyll, Benbecula to Inverness, all recognising the value of Gaelic in the marketing of their organisations, their products and indeed of the Scottish Gàidhealtachd.”

Neil Ross, Head of Community Growth at Highlands and Islands Enterprise added, “We see the use of Gaelic as an asset as already contributing, and having huge potential to generate further economic and social impacts which strengthening the economy and communities across the Highlands and Islands. HIE’s continued investment in the use of Gaelic will be informed by our research in this area which is currently being finalized prior to that being widely disseminated.”

Both the “Marketing and New Markets using Gaelic” scheme and the “Business Innovation using Gaelic” scheme remain open up to October 2014, with up to £3,500 available through the Marketing scheme and grants of up to £15,000 available through the Innovation fund. For more information on the funds please email  or visit the Comunn na Gàidhlig website .

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