Highland Council is urging that under the new BBC Charter audiences in Scotland get a fairer deal regarding the future of the broadcaster especially in relation to the case for supporting and developing Gaelic.
Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chair of The Highland Council’s Gaelic Implementation Group said: “We acknowledge that BBC ALBA is currently achieving a great deal and delivers a good service within the context of the limited broadcasting hours and the resources available at their disposal.
However, in order to support the strategic aims of the Highland Council in relation to Gaelic and cultural development, it is important that BBC ALBA fills the gaps in its service provision, especially in the areas of news, children's programming, drama and comedy- all of which are culturally and creatively important to our communities”.
He continued: “We support the channel partners' ambition to increases the original output of BBC ALBA to 3 new hours of programming per day which would create opportunities to develop the talent base and lead to increased levels of citizenship and a higher quality, more comprehensive service for Gaelic users in Scotland.”
“The Council has strong links with other lesser used language organisations and we are strongly aware of the shortfalls in relation to the funding applied to BBC Alba in comparison to other UK minority language broadcasters. We are aware that the Welsh language broadcaster S4C has 8 hours of original Welsh language hours each day and the Irish language broadcaster TG4 5 hours of original Irish programming each day, in comparison to the 1.9 original daily hours which BBC ALBA currently broadcasts.”
Donald Campbell, Chief Executive of MG ALBA, said: "We have a very innovative partnership with the BBC and the success of BBC ALBA is something that we are very privileged to be a part of. BBC ALBA has more to give and the renewal of the Charter is the right time for the BBC to commit to the development of the channel so that it can serve its audiences better and bolster Scotland's creative industries.”