SOILLSE: Building an Infrastructure for Gaelic


Description of impact

There are three stages to the impact. First, key advice was provided to the Scottish Government on its 2005 Gaelic Language Act by Dr Rob Dunbar, then reader at the University of Aberdeen, and a world expert on language legislation. This helped shape both the nature of the legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament and the plan for its implementation.

Second, a bid was made, in which Aberdeen was again a lead organisation, for funding to strengthen the infrastructure for Gaelic-language research, so making it possible for the Scottish Government's policy to be properly informed by a sufficient body of Gaelic-language researchers. This resulted in the SOILLSE project (`A Research Strategy for the Maintenance and Revitalisation of Gaelic Language and Culture'), which secured £5.28m in funding from the Scottish Funding Council's `Societal and Public Priority' scheme, Bòrd na Gàidhlig (the agency charged with carrying through the Government's policy), Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and the four universities involved — Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), whose establishment as a research institution was one of the outcomes of the funding.

Third, specific research contracts were undertaken by Macleod and MacLeod to provide non-governmental agencies with information about the effectiveness of their implementation of government policy. SOILLSE is now at the half-way point in its overall trajectory, but the research being produced is already influencing the government and community agencies (Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Comunn na Gàidhlig) involved in delivering Gaelic language policy, while the fees paid for commissioned research have been used to fund additional PhDs in Gaelic.
Impact statusImpact Completed (Open)


  • Modern Languages and Linguistics