A GRASSROOTS lobbying group has called on the Scottish Government to reverse a “devastating” cut to the body responsible for promoting Gaelic development in the country.

Last week, it was reported that three people would lose their jobs at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, with the Gaelic Development Officer scheme also being scrapped, when ministers cut £354,000 from the organisation’s budget.

It’s believed the contracts of two language planning officers and an education manager will not be renewed in the next financial year, as well as almost 30 Gaelic development officer positions.

The Scottish Government confirmed that short-term additional funding for Bòrd na Gàidhlig would not be able to continue due to “extraordinary financial challenges”.

READ MORE: Anger as Scottish Gaelic language scheme scrapped amid funding cuts

Now, campaign group Misneachd Alba have written to Finance Secretary Shona Robison and Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth calling on the cuts to be reversed.

The letter highlights significant concerns about the budget cut and calls for a review into the overall funding being put towards the Gaelic language.

“The loss of 29 Gaelic development officers in rural communities, along with three posts at Bòrd na Gàidhlig will have a potentially devastating effect on these communities, not only in terms of the loss of employment, but in the confidence and the belief of those working tirelessly against ongoing and intensifying language shift.

“There is a danger that the very small number of people willing and able to do these jobs will lose interest and enthusiasm through being constantly let down by the system which is supposedly in place to support them and their communities.

The National:

“People are sick and tired of the short-term temporary contracts, low pay and insecure career prospects in a sector that should be the cornerstone of Gaelic promotion in Scotland."

The letter added that the £210,000 allocated for research and pilot schemes on depopulation would be better spent on maintaining the positions at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, and referenced an article written by Kate Forbes for The National. 

“There will not be a second chance to preserve Gaelic as a spoken vernacular language in Scotland,” the letter continued.

“If these cuts are not reversed and greater investment made in the community use of the language, then all other efforts in support of Gaelic will be in vain.

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“At the very least, decisions taken by this Government, now, will prove decisive in whether Gaelic has a future as a community language.”

It comes as the organisation Comunn na Gàidhlig (CnaG said that “much more” had to be spent on Gaelic by the Scottish Government to keep the language alive.

Donald MacNeill, the CEO of CnaG, told the BBC: “"If Scotland in general has goals for Gaelic to survive in the future, much more money needs to be spent on that than what we currently have.

"Our current budgets are nowhere near good enough to meet the challenge we face - now and in the future.

"If we want to have growth and progress, money must come accordingly".