THE Scottish Government is to provide additional funding to secure the jobs of 27 staff working for a Gaelic community scheme after severe backlash.

An initial payment of £175,000 will be provided to Gaelic development agency Bòrd na Gàidhlig to maintain the role of the community officers, who work to promote the Gaelic language and culture through local projects.

It comes after it was reported that the budget of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the principal body in Scotland responsible for promoting Gaelic development, would be cut by the Scottish Government, leading to the Gaelic Development Officer scheme being put in danger.

READ MORE: Campaigners call on ministers to reverse cuts to Gaelic scheme

The cut - which amounts to £354,000 - affects 27 organisations which are part of the scheme. Grassroots lobbying group Misneachd Alba and Kate Forbes MSP were among those who called on the Scottish Government to reverse a “devastating” cut to the body.

The Scottish Government has asked Bòrd na Gàidhlig to review the scheme and provide a plan for its sustainable operation in future, including support and oversight of the community officers, which will allow ministers to consider further funding to support the scheme.

The National: First Minister and SNP leader Humza Yousaf

First Minister Humza Yousaf said:  “I have been clear about the importance of protecting staff who provide this vital service in our communities. This additional funding will protect these important roles while allowing Bòrd na Gàidhlig to come forward with sustainable options to secure the future of this programme.

“We recognise the significant part Gaelic plays in Scotland’s culture and we want to support the language to grow and thrive.

“Despite the extraordinary financial challenges facing the Scottish Government, Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s core baseline funding has been protected and we are bringing forward the Scottish Languages Bill to provide further protection for Scotland’s indigenous languages.”

However, chair of the Tiree Community Trust Rhoda Meek has described the funding as a "short-term" solution. Meek previously said, "language loss across ­Gaeldom has been gathering pace over recent years, fueled by a political landscape which is not particularly ­interested in ­native ­Gaelic speakers".

In reaction to the recent funding update, Meek said: "The Scottish Government has found £175k for Gaelic Development Officer jobs in the short term. The final chance for a language has been calculated at about half the going rate for a house in Tiree."

READ MORE: Jenny Gilruth 'not content' about Bòrd na Gàidhlig job cuts proposals

Elsewhere, Misneachd Alba welcomed the news and said "it shows we have power".

Member Martin McBailey told BBC Naidheachdan: "It's good news and we're very happy, maybe now these positions will be reserved - that's the most important thing in the short term.

"Looking forward though, this is a small amount of money and we have to continue. It's good that the government was willing to listen to us - it shows that we have power - and let's say the next thing is to be strongly campaigning for substantial money that would be included in the changes that come with the language bill."

Activists have also been calling on the Scottish Government to revise the funding for the Bord considering inflation since 2005.

"Bòrd na Gàidhlig's annual budget would have to be £8.5m just to match what they first received in 2005," McBailey added.

"In reality they need much more than that. It's good that we have confirmed that the government listens to us, and next when the Languages Bill comes in, a budget will need much more close to £10m a year at Bòrd na Gàidhlig."

Ealasaid MacDonald, chief executive, Bòrd na Gàidhlig said: “I welcome the active partnership and investment from the Scottish Government in the Gaelic officers scheme. Bòrd na Gàidhlig has been in communication with the organisations affected and we will continue to work together to ensure that the scheme contributes to building the capacity for Gaelic across our communities.

“The work of these officers enables opportunities for empowering communities as they determine what they need to allow Gaelic to prosper.”