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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Culture Minister Announces Group

29th October 2009

Scottish Culture Minister, Mike Russell, has announced the formation of a working group to advise the government how the Scots language might be supported and encouraged in the community. The formation of the group is the offcome of the Scottish Government Audit of the Scots language in 2008. The group will be convened by Professor J Derrick McClure of the University of Aberdeen and will also consist of Alasdair Allan, MSP,  Professor John Corbett (University of Glasgow), Michael Hance (Director, Scots Language Centre), Dr Christine Robinson (Scottish Language Dictionaries), Billy Kay (author and broadcaster), Laureen Johnson (Shetland ForWirds), Janet Paisley (author and poet), Rab Wilson (author and poet), James Robertson (Itchy Coo) and Matthew Fitt (Itchy Coo).

In commenting about recent developments Mr Russell said: “We have brought two key bodies, the Scots Langauge Centre and Scots Language Dictioaries - into a direct funding relationship with the Scottish Government in recognition of the important role they play here, and we have commissioned further research on attitudes to the Scots language.” Mr Russell also outlined the Government plans to assess what could be done for the language: "Formation of the Scots Language Working Group is the next step in exploring ambitions and aspirations for Scots, but most importantly what practical steps can be taken to raise awareness of the language and promote its use in a range of settings.”

Professor Derrick McClure, Convenor of the Scots Language Working Group, who has written numerous studies of the language over many years, and has campaigned for greater recognition, said: "This is the first time that Government has established a working group to look at the needs of the Scots language community and I am honoured to have been asked to convene the Group.” Professor McClure further commented: "The Scots language is a vital part of our heritage and living language.  I look forward to meeting and discussing with my fellow committee members how we can strengthen Scots for the benefit of the whole of Scotland".

The new Working Group will have its first meeting before the end of the year.