GCU analyses value of Gaelic to Business in new research

09 September 2013

GCU analyses value of Gaelic to Business in new research

Dr Douglas Chalmers

GCU has been commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to research the economic and social value of Gaelic and how that impact can be maximised by businesses.

GCU will work with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) together with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Scottish Natural Heritage, Creative Scotland, The Highland Council, Argyll and Bute Council and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar to complete the research.

HIE has commissioned DC Research Ltd and partners Glasgow Caledonian University, Pirnie Ltd, and Cogent Strategies International Ltd to gather information and views from businesses and social enterprises currently using Gaelic as an asset.

Dr Douglas Chalmers will work as part of the team to gather detailed information from businesses, communities and social enterprises which are currently using Gaelic to add value to a product, service or activity. The team will also seek to identify as yet untapped potential to use Gaelic.

This research follows on from recent work on the economic value of the Creative Industries in the Western Isles and previous research in the area of Gaelic Arts and Culture, praised by the chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig as some of the best academic research done by universities in this field.

According to Donald Macdonald, HIE Board member: “In the last 20-30 years, there has been marked growth in the area of Gaelic development and it is now time to explore how its potential can be taken to the next level. HIE recognises that Gaelic is at the heart of many communities across our area. The research will highlight the economic and social impact of its use as an asset, so that we can actively shape our future support to businesses and communities.”

An economist by profession, Dr Chalmers has specialised for over ten years in the economics of minority languages, arts and culture and has undertaken research and consultancy for many organisations, including Creative Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, City of Glasgow Council, The Gaelic Arts Agency (Pròiseact nan Ealan), and the Gaelic Language Board (Bòrd na Gàidhlig).

He works within the Institute for Society and Social Justice Research's Culture, Consumption and Communication research group.

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