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£1.2 million generated by Inverness Royal National Mòd – as organisers vow to keep hybrid model

The Black Isle Gaelic Choir perform at The Royal National Mod. Organisers announce that it generated £1.2million for the Highland economy. Picture supplied by The Royal National Mod.
The Black Isle Gaelic Choir perform at The Royal National Mod. Organisers announce that it generated £1.2million for the Highland economy. Picture supplied by The Royal National Mod.

The organiser of the Inverness Royal National Mòd has said it boosted the Highland economy by £1.2million.

An Comunn Gaidhealach (ACG) said the nine-day event held between October 8-16 was watched online from across the globe, as well as welcoming more than 2,840 choristers and soloists.

The annual Royal National Mòd is organised by An Comunn Gaidhealach. It was postponed in 2020 due to Covid, when an online version was introduced.

Due to continuing Covid restrictions the festival took a hybrid approach in 2021, with events taking place in person and online, and featured a two-day showcase of talent.

A Royal National Mòd spokeswoman said: “The Royal National Mòd 2021, which took place at Eden Court Theatre from October 8 -16 2021, generated £1.2m for the economy in Inverness and the Highland Council area, as well as providing a huge social and cultural boost.

Traditional Gold Medal winner Emma NicLeoid from Scalpay, Harris with her medal and the winners Islander Shield photographed beside the River Ness. Picture by SANDY McCOOK

“The 129-year-old event which celebrates Gaelic language and culture featured a variety of incredible competitions, performances and cultural activities, with 2,840 in-person attendees providing an economic uplift that helped support around 14 full-time equivalent jobs.”

Online element to become permanent

Revealing it wasn’t until as late as August that organisers gave the in-person event the green light, Allan Campbell, An Comunn Gaidhealach president, said: “We are delighted that the 2021 Royal National Mòd has given the economy of Inverness and the surrounding area a significant boost in what was a difficult year for tourism in the city.

“We are also absolutely delighted that the Mòd has played a crucial role in helping to offset the negative aspects of social isolation and some of the mental challenges caused by lockdown.

“We very much hope that the Royal National Mòd in Perth in 2022 can go ahead in full.”

Praising the impact of the online element of the event, that was only introduced in 2020, Mr Campbell said it would now become a permanent part of the overall programme.

This will be music to the ears of choristers from across the globe who have found attending the event in person expensive and difficult to co-ordinate.

Inverness Gaelic Choir with conductor Jamie MacGregor in the front right. Picture by SANDY McCOOK.

Gaelic teacher, Guillermo Santana MacKinlay, who conducts a choir in Buenos Aires, Argentina previously told the Press and Journal that he was only able to attend the event every five years or so.

But the online event now allows him to compete every year.

‘Having such uniquely Scottish events in our calendar further strengthens the country’s outlook and position’

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said the value of the event was much more than simply of Gaelic speakers and learners in Scotland, in that its international impact was important.

He said: “Having such uniquely Scottish events in our calendar further strengthens the country’s outlook and position as a world-leading events destination and reinforces Scotland’s place as the perfect stage for events.”

Lochs Gaelic Choir with conductor Ronnie Murray in the foreground. Picture by SANDY McCOOK.

Councillor Calum Munro, chairman of The Highland Council’s Gaelic committee,  funders of the annual festival, said: “The mod’s economic boost to the Inverness and Highland economy is hugely welcome particularly during these difficult Covid times.

“The cultural and social success of staging the event to a wider online audience is also highly encouraging for the future development of Gaelic.”

​​Shona MacLennan, ceannard at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, praised the event for increasing the use and promotion of Gaelic. She said: “Its economic impact consistently demonstrates how important Gaelic is to the Scottish economy.”

This year’s Mòd will take place in Perth from October 14 -22. For more information, visit https://www.ancomunn.co.uk/.

Coverage of the Inverness Mòd can be found by clicking here.

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