The Northern Ireland Act 1998 requires the Executive to adopt a strategy setting out how it proposes to enhance and protect the development of the Irish language and Ulster-Scots culture, heritage and language. DCAL has prepared a Strategy for Ulster Scots Language, Heritage and Culture which can be downloaded below. The Academy will be an important element in that Strategy.
ULSTER SCOTS ACADEMY
The Belfast / Good Friday Agreement of 1998 acknowledged the importance of respect, understanding and tolerance in relation to linguistic diversity, with specific reference to Ulster-Scots. In April 2003, the Joint Declaration by the British and Irish Governments committed the British Government to take steps to encourage support to be made available to an Ulster-Scots Academy. The Ministerial Advisory Group (MAG) on the Ulster-Scots Academy (known as MAGUS) was established in March 2011 and first met on 12 May 2011.
DEVELOPMENT AND RESEARCH STRATEGY
The MAGUS prepared a consultative document containing proposals for an Ulster-Scots Development and Research Strategy and Grant Scheme. The Department published it for public consultation on 15th October 2012 for an eight week consultation period which ended on 7th December 2012. There were two public consultation events in November 2012, in Lisburn and Omagh. Minister Caral Ní Chuilín and Minister Nelson McCausland attended the Lisburn event. The MAGUS and the Department were represented at both events.
In response to the comments received, the MAGUS and Department produced a final version of the Strategy, which the Department published on 27 June 2013 to coincide with the launch of the Grant Scheme.
The full text of the Strategy is available for download here.
DEVELOPMENT AND RESEARCH GRANT SCHEME
The Strategy identifies our priorities for future funding across our three work streams. We have issued a call for proposals through our Development and Research Grant Scheme. For guidance and application materials please see links below.