Scotland

Gaelic broadcaster gets £1m Scottish government funding

Bannan characters Donneil, Mairi and Alasdair Image copyright Handout
Image caption BBC Alba's programming includes Bannan, the first Gaelic drama since the 1990s

Gaelic broadcaster MG Alba is to receive £1m of funding from the Scottish government.

MG Alba, which runs the digital television channel BBC Alba in partnership with BBC Scotland, has received the sum since 2014.

The UK government had also provided funding but Chancellor George Osborne did not to renew the deal in November.

MG Alba's chief Donald Campbell said he was pleased by the continued support from the Scottish government.

MG Alba was set up to ensure high-quality Gaelic television programmes are available to viewers in Scotland.

Image copyright Handout
Image caption BBC Alba commissioned the Katie Morag TV adaptation along with CBeebies

Launched in September 2008, the channel now reaches on average more than 700,000 viewers per week in Scotland.

Minister for Scotland's Languages Alasdair Allan said: "I have no doubt that Gaelic broadcasting adds significant value to important areas of Gaelic development, whether that's in education, in the community or at home.

"The impact and benefits of MG Alba are felt across Scotland, and it has an impressive economic impact - this is unique and this funding will enable these areas to increase employment, skills and training."

The £1m funding for 2016/17 follows a previous investment from the Scottish government of £1m for 2014-16 and is in addition to core funding of £11.8m.

BBC Alba's output has included comedy Two Days in October and Bannan, which is filmed on Skye, and is the first Gaelic drama to be made since Machair in the 1990s.

Along with CBeebies, it also commissioned a television adaption of Mairi Hedderwick's Katie Morag books. The show is filmed on Lewis in the Western Isles.

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