Minister Visits SLC
8th March 2013
The Scots Language Centre was pleased to welcome Scottish Government Minister Dr Alasdair Allan on a visit to the Soutar House in Perth on Thursday 7 March. Dr Allan, who is Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, visited the Soutar House to meet with staff from both the Scots Language Centre and Perth and Kinross Council to hear about recent developments. In particular, the Scots Language Centre in partnership with Perth and Kinross Council has agreed a plan to use the Soutar House for some of its activities, including meetings and the establishment of an archive. The Soutar House was originally the home of Scots language poet William Soutar and is maintained as an important cultural, linguistic and heritage site on behalf of the community. Scots Language Centre Director Michael Hance commented “Perth and Kinross Council have been most generous in making the house available to the SLC. It is very gratifying for both the Council and SLC staff that we are able to make use of a space which already has long established links with the Scots language.” After welcoming Dr Allan, Director Hance led an introduction to the various staff and activities of the SLC including a brief presentation of the evolution of the SLC website across the years which had been designed and maintained by online specialist Chris Third. Also present were Dr Dauvit Horsbroch, language and information officer, Katrina MacLeod, audio-visual and education specialist, Centre administrator Avril Nicol, Gordon Beange treasurer to the SLC for over 20 years and Sally Evans who has recently taken on the task of editing the Centre's poetry features. Helen Smout, Service Manager (Culture) at the AK Bell Library, also discussed input from the library while Councillor Kate Howie commented on the role of Perth and Kinross Council in supporting the language. Dr Allan discussed ongoing developments and said that the figures from the 2011 census were currently being analysed and that a report would be available during the summer. He was pleased that the SLC had been central in providing the public with information on the issue and also that the Centre was able to expand and develop further projects. Dr Allan was then taken on a tour of the house and shown areas which had been repaired after winter flood damage in 2010. Also present at the meeting were Douglas Ansdell and Janet Dunsmuir from the Gaelic and Scots Unit in the Cultural, External Affairs and Tourism Directorate of the Scottish Government.