We received a response from Glasgow City Council to our letter that asked a dozen questions about ‘Scottish Gaelic’ businesses in Glasgow – a pertinent request seeing as about a tenth of Gaelic speakers live here in Glasgow, most Gaels at some point in their life will live in, visit or pass through Glasgow – known locally as ‘Baile Mòr nan Gàidheal’ or ‘City of the Gaels’. This is a summary of a few of the responses.
We were told that no businesses using Scottish Gaelic in Glasgow have ever been given financial or in-kind support by Glasgow City Council. Nor has the Council designated any money to Scottish Gaelic start-up businesses.
We asked how many businesses the Council hoped to support over the next five years to encourage trading using the Scottish Gaelic language but this could not be addressed under the scope of the request.
When asked who is responsible for encouraging businesses to use and promote Scottish Gaelic as an economic asset, we were advised that “no one within the Council has a specific remit to encourage Gaelic as an economic asset.”
However, we were advised that there are plans afoot in the autumn to disseminate the results of current national research on this subject and follow this up by exploring ways in which the Council can develop further opportunities for the development of existing and new Gaelic businesses.
Although this is not to say that Gaelic businesses do not receive funding from other organisations, it is the case that the Council does not yet invest in Gaelic businesses.
This is perhaps not too surprising as current Scottish Gaelic language plans tend not to spend any time on business development.
Still, it’s good to see that Glasgow City Council appear to be starting to take the economic potential of Scottish Gaelic seriously. It gives us some hope as a Glasgow based business wishing to use Gaelic in the city more and more.