Give cultural heritage assets a boost with new Gaelic Toolkit

Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is encouraging communities and businesses to use Scotland’s Gaelic heritage as an economic asset, while helping to create distinctive experiences for the Park’s two million visitor.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 7:00 am
Dr Fiona MacLean, CNPA Board member.

And help is at hand with the launch of the Cairngorms National Park Heritage Interpretation Toolkit.

This is a simple step-by-step guide aimed at supporting local communities and businesses to develop cultural heritage projects.

The toolkit provides broad advice on using Gaelic, with the goal of encouraging users to feel confident in applying the language within their projects. This could be something as simple as including select words or phrases, which can bring an added element of interest and meaning for visitors, or something more comprehensive such as Gaelic-specific interpretation in key locations.

The toolkit is a practical guide with suggestions about how to increase the use of Gaelic. Many of the same steps could also be helpful to projects using Scots or Doric Gaelic language is fundamental to Scotland’s identity as a nation.

Research has calculated that the potential economic value of Gaelic as an asset to the wider Scottish economy could be up to £148.5m a year. It has deep-rooted connections with the very landscape itself and also plays a crucial role within Scotland’s heritage and culture through traditional music, literature, poetry and song.

Bruce MacDonald, who led the project for the CNPA explained: “Gaelic terms and phrases can be incredibly descriptive, nuanced and evocative for visitors. Language is all around us in one form or another and its use by both communities and businesses can bring much more depth and interest to a project, therefore creating a more distinctive, authentic experience for visitors.”

Dr Fiona MacLean, CNPA Board member and cultural heritage professional said: “I think the Heritage Interpretation Toolkit will prove to be a really useful resource for communities and businesses in the Park and beyond as we try to meet the expectations of visitors who have a real thirst for Gaelic and our rich cultural heritage.”

To access the Heritage Interpretation Toolkit visit cairngorms.co.uk/toolkit-heritage/