Economic reports and research

Economic impact assessment - the Fèisean Dec 2009

A study on the economic impact of the Fèisean and related activities was carried out for Highlands and Islands Enterprise in 2009. The study assessed the impacts of the 45 Fèisean that were held in 2008, the other activities carried out through the year by the individual Fèisean, the support and development assistance provided by Fèisean nan Gaidheal, and the longer term impacts from the Fèisean that have been held in different parts of Scotland since the first Fèis Bharraigh in 1981. Although economic impact has been the main focus of the study, the role that the Fèisean movement has played in Gaelic language development was also considered.

20 of the Fèisean in 2008 were held in areas designed by HIE as "fragile", 18 in other Highlands and Islands locations, and 8 elsewhere in Scotland. A Fèis held in London was not included. Details were also obtained on Freumhan (Lochgoilhead), a new Gaelic-medium Fèis for secondary pupils, first held in 2009, which combines musical workshops with outdoor activities.

Information was obtained on their annual Fèis and other self-organised activities direct from the individual Fèisean through telephone and face-to-face contact, and almost all provided financial and other detail that enabled impacts to be assessed more precisely than previously, together with other information on former Fèis students, other specific local economic impacts, recent trends and their development plans. Where full detail was not provided by the Fèisean we estimated figures from material provided by Fèisean nan Gaidheal and through parallels with comparable Fèisean.

The study report includes case studies of a range of Fèisean held within the Highlands and Islands, which entailed visiting local areas, in some cases during their annual Fèis.

Supplementary information on ancillary activities and other aspects of impact was obtained from Fèisean nan Gàidheal and its staff, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and other organisations, former Fèis participants and previous reports on different aspects of the impacts of the Fèisean and related initiatives.

The impacts assessed for 2008 are representative of impacts from recent years, although there is an element of annual growth through new Fèisean and the development of new activities by existing Fèisean. As highlighted in the report, Fèis Spè is a good example of the latter.


Economic Impact The Fèisean 2009
Published 31 Aug 2010
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