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Doric Board unveils £10,000 funding to help spread the language across the north east

Students are being encouraged to join a new Doric course at Aberdeen University.
Students are being encouraged to join a new Doric course at Aberdeen University.

A new organisation dedicated to boosting Doric has awarded its first round of funding to help groups across the north-east promote the language.

The grants, varying from £250 to £1,000, have been awarded to projects that promote arts, culture and history from Aberdeen to Aboyne and the Cabrach to Cruden Bay.

The Doric Board (North-East Tradition and Language – NETAL) was created to energise public appreciation of the region’s exceptional heritage.

This is the board’s inaugural annual set of awards which draws from a budget of around £10,000.  The scheme was created with the backing of the Scottish Government to develop a sustainable, dynamic future for Doric as a vibrant language.

Those who have received backing include the Banffshire Tourist Group to assist with the creation of an illustrated biography of the legendary outlaw James Macpherson.

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A new play by Mike Gibb, based on the life and works of author and screenwriter Lorna Moon, has also received funding, along with a project by Tom Spiers, from Turriff, who wants to establish an educational website based on ballads from the area.

Two of Us Ltd Creations in Aboyne was rewarded with money to publish a book of poems involving 11 writers’ groups throughout the region, whilst 1st Methlick Scouts’ plan to celebrate 100 years of their group, through a project reflecting the cultural traditions of Scouts, also won assistance.

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Board chairwoman Frieda Morrison said: “The awards, and the fact that we received 29 applications, show that Doric is very much alive and well in 2020.

“The Doric board is delighted to be able to support this terrific range of projects from across the north east. Many of them support and engage young people and look to sustain Doric into the future.”

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Board member Professor Peter Reid, of the Robert Gordon University, added: “These awards recognise a broad spectrum of groups and projects, and demonstrate the deep affection there is for Doric as well as the passion for its survival.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are  pleased to support the Doric Board’s New Year Awards, which provide support to projects that will have lasting benefits for the community and the language and raise the profile of Scots.”

In full: The Doric Board funding recipients
  • Banffshire Tourist Hub – Illustrated biography of James Macpherson
  • Mike Gibb, Aberdeen – Scatter my ashes on Mormond Hill, a new play based on the life and works of Lorna Moon
  • Garidge Theatre, Inverurie – Dark Star Development production based on Lorna Moon’s novel
  • Tom Spiers, Crudie, Turriff – A puckle muckle sangs, aneducational programme based on the ballads of the north-east
  • Ewan Mackay, Cruden Bay – Doric homage in classical song
  • Val McLeod, Birnie, Elgin – Doric Alive, monthly group/Doric activities
  • Two of Us Creations Ltd, Aboyne – poetry anthology in English and Doric of work by local poets
  • 1st Methlick Scouts – centenary celebrations, a presentation of the culture of the north-east, past and present)
  • The Cabrach Trust – to capture living history by recording interviews in Doric
  • RGU – adding north-east content to Wikipedia
  • Andrew Davidson, Fraserburgh – Fraserburgh on Film
  • Jo Gilbert, Aberdeen – Doric Poetry Slam
  • Karen Barrett-Ayres, Aberdeen – creation of a Doric language app
  • Dr Ian Spring, Perth – collection of Mary Symon poems
  • Modo: Circus With Purposes, Peterhead – Doricula
  • Stonehaven Folk Festival – promoting folk songs in local groups
  • Richard Bennett, Torphins – an anthology of work by modern Moray writers
  • Bob Knight – Doric song CD


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