SMP backs Gaelic channel proposal

Plans for a dedicated television channel for Gaelic broadcasting have taken a major step forward.

Scottish minister Anne McGuire has pledged the proposed Gaelic Media Service (GMS) will have the power to hold a licence to run it.

She delivered the promise during debates on details of the communications bill in a House of Commons committee in response to amendments put down by Western Isles Labour MP Calum MacDonald.

Now the Labour MP is launching a campaign to double Government support for Gaelic broadcasting.

The estimated cost of making the channel available in the form of a digital satellite broadcast and an internet webcast is £15m – compared with an initial figure of more than double this, and existing spending of around £8.5m a year.

MacDonald says the funding could come from both the Treasury and the Scottish Executive.

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