A new competition has been launched for Scottish schools teaching Gaelic, to record examples of Gaelic being used by communities and businesses.
The competition is being organised by Comunn na Gàidhlig (CnaG), as a means to create as comprehensive a list as possible of communities and businesses who are using Gaelic as part of their daily activity or their branding or logo.
The school that adds most names to the list will get a first prize of £400, with the schools in second and third places getting £200 and £100 respectively.
CnaG chief executive Donald MacNeill said: "We are organising this as part of the work we do on behalf of Highlands and Islands Enterprise. They, and their partners, are about to undertake a significant study into the impact of Gaelic, where it is being used as an economic or social asset.
"As part of that, they anticipate that their researchers will be looking for good examples of companies and communities who are using Gaelic. We do have our own lists - but typically of groups or businesses we've supported over the years. We know there will be many more, but it is harder for us to gather this information.
"By providing this opportunity for schools, we hope we'll be able to expand our list, but also that the pupils themselves will benefit from seeing how frequently Gaelic is used in the community, and how people are taking advantage of it."
The new competition will be open to primary and secondary schools, both those who are providing Gaelic medium education, as well as those where Gaelic is taught as a subject for learners.
According to CnaG there are many ways in which Gaelic is being used today, including:
Building or company signage;
Vehicle livery or signage;
Online/internet marketing and advertising;
Food and drink branding or packaging;
Musicians or other artists using Gaelic professionally
Schools can record all these types of usages as well as anything else they can find.
Donald MacNeill again: "We will put more information on the rules of the competition on our website (www.cnag.org) but they will be straightforward, simply explaining exactly what information we are looking for and the format in which it needs to be submitted. One thing we must make clear is that we are not looking for information on road signs, or building signs on public buildings - such as hospitals, schools, local council or government offices - we are looking for private sector or community examples. If anyone has any questions, we'll be more than happy to try and answer them."
Neil Ross of HIE's Strengthening Communities Directorate said, "This research into the Economic and social impact of Gaelic as an asset, which HIE is leading on, with broad public sector partner support, including from Bòrd na Gàidhlig, will be a significant assistance to our collective understanding of what's being achieved, and what has the potential to be realised. It will also give us a range of detailed case studies to share widely and enthuse stakeholders."
The deadline for competition entries will be Thursday 28th March.
For more information contact: Donald MacNeill, CnaG. 01463 234138