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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

End of an era at the SLC

18th December 2018

December 2018 marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one with the departure of Michael Hance as director of the Scots Language Centre. Michael was originally appointed director back in 2002 in succession to Stuart McHardy at which time he was an employee of the Scottish Arts Council and director of the Saltire Society. Michael was well placed to understand the importance and richness of the regional dialects as he was raised primarily in Aberdeen where he grew up with North East Scots (aka Doric) as well as being acquainted with the Shetland dialect spoken by his mother’s family.

The SLC was originally envisaged as a physical resource and library but Michael Hance was instrumental in transforming it into a strong online resource with a much greater public presence that it had enjoyed previously. In 2006 he and Chris Third launched the SLC’s website which has gone through a number of incarnations, formats and improvements under Michael’s stewardship.

Together with the rest of the SLC team Michael identified a number of areas for improving public awareness of the language and in more recent years has concentrated on building upon educational resources for schools. He was also the originator of the Scots Toun award scheme and together with lead campaigner Dr Dauvit Horsbroch worked with the NRS to make the 2011 census question for Scots a success.

Michael Hance is succeeded as director by Dr Michael Dempster who became the SLC’s social media manager at the end of 2017 and who in the summer of 2018 was also appointed the National Library of Scotland’s Scots Scriever.

The SLC staff and council members would like to take this opportunity to thank Michael Hance for his tireless efforts on behalf of the Scots-speaking community over many years and also to wish Michael Dempster the best of fortune in his new role.