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Cultural Heritage: Northern Ireland

Question for Northern Ireland Office

UIN 26988, tabled on 9 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps his Department is taking to (a) support and (b) promote the Ulster-Scots cultural heritage in communities throughout Northern Ireland.

Answered on

17 March 2020

The devolved administration in Northern Ireland is primarily responsible for supporting and promoting languages, including Ulster-Scots. The New Decade, New Approach agreement contains important commitments for the Northern Ireland Executive to progress on supporting and promoting Ulster-Scots language and culture.

In reserved areas, such as broadcasting, the Government is committed to supporting Ulster- Scots as appropriate, and has ensured that the BBC Framework Agreement includes a specific clause which provides a clear commitment for the BBC to continue to deliver output in Ulster- Scots, and provides funding for the Ulster-Scots Broadcasting Fund (USBF).

The Government has also itself committed, under the New Decade, New Approach agreement, to supporting discussions with NI Screen to explore how the remit of the Ulster USBF can be broadened, and will increase funding to reflect any broadened remit. The Government will also, under the New Decade, New Approach agreement, work to recognise Ulster-Scots as a national minority under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.