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Council Progress Gaelic Language and British Sign Language Local Plans

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South Ayrshire Council has made progress on the objectives of the Gaelic Language Plan (GLP) and British Sign Language (BSL) Local Plan. 

The Gaelic Language Plan sets out how we intend to raise awareness and help secure, promote and develop the Gaelic language, heritage and culture in the area over the next five years. In the last year alone, over 120 pupils have achieved SQA Hi5 awards* in topics such as Gaelic culture and weaving. Many young people are also beginning to use the language, and can introduce themselves in Gaelic and describe a favourite Scottish topic of conversation - the weather.

In partnership with the Ayrshire Roads Alliance, we have erected more village signs which reflect their Gaelic name; and our new school campuses will also have bilingual signage incorporated in their development. 

The Ayrshire Shared BSL Local Plan sets out what we will do to support BSL users in Ayrshire. As a member of the Ayrshire Equality Partnership, we work with colleagues in East Ayrshire Council, North Ayrshire Council, NHS Ayrshire and Arran and other partners to deliver the plan which covers early years and education; training and work; health, mental health and wellbeing; transport; culture and the arts; and justice and democracy.

The importance of sharing BSL information has been highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring public health information is accessible in a range of formats.

Councillor Chris Cullen, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture said: "The inclusion of the Gaelic Language Plan and British Sign Language Local Plan within the equalities work of the Council, recognises and takes into account the principles of fairness, equality and respect.

"We are committed to ensuring this important work is mainstreamed within the Council, and I'm pleased with the progress we have made so far. These plans will help us to support BSL users across Ayrshire and ensure we continue to promote the Gaelic language and raise awareness of the important role it plays in our culture."

You can find out more about our Gaelic Language Plan and British Sign Language Local Plan on our website.

Published 18 November 2021