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Royal National Mòd 2021 held at Eden Court Theatre generated £1.2 million for the local economy

By Ian Duncan

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Royal National Mod, Massed Choirs Event at The Northern Meeting Park. Depute Provost Cllr Bet McAllister, right, hands over the mod to Perth and Kinross Provost Dennis Melloy, left. Picture: Callum Mackay
Royal National Mod, Massed Choirs Event at The Northern Meeting Park. Depute Provost Cllr Bet McAllister, right, hands over the mod to Perth and Kinross Provost Dennis Melloy, left. Picture: Callum Mackay

The Royal National Mòd 2021, which was held in Inverness last year, generated £1.2 million for the local economy, it has been revealed.

It was held at Eden Court Theatre between October 8 and October 16 and also provided a huge social and cultural boost for the city and the wider Highland Council area.

The 129-year-old event, which celebrates Gaelic language and culture, featured a variety of incredible competitions, performances and cultural activities.

There were 2840 in-person attendees and provided the economic uplift that helped support around 14 full-time equivalent jobs.

The national festival, which was organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, elevated Inverness’ tourism and hospitality sector during a quieter month in 2021, after the industry faced a difficult year due to Covid. Participants surveyed were also found to be highly likely to revisit Inverness in the future.

The festival took a hybrid approach in 2021, with events taking place both in-person and online. The online programme proved hugely successful, as all participants welcomed the approach and it was shown to help people overcome mental health issues brought on by lockdown.

Scotland’s premier Gaelic festival also strongly supported the development of Gaelic language and culture and overcame isolation caused by Covid restrictions.

As well as being able to interact with fellow Gaelic speakers, learners and enthusiasts, attendees were able to reconnect with friends and family, bringing a huge morale boost to those isolated during lockdown.

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. It is especially gratifying because we were not certain until August if the Mòd could take place on a face-to-face basis.

“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 have seen yet again that having an online element is highly valued by participants and it has now become a permanent part of the overall programme, building on our experiences of 2020 and 2021.

“An Comunn congratulates all participants and organisers in making the 2021 Royal National Mòd a great success. We very much hope that the Mòd in Perth in 2022 can go ahead in full.”

Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: "We were delighted to support the Royal National Mòd through Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund, established by EventScotland in conjunction with funding from the Scottish Government.

"The Mòd shows the important role events play in our communities. It has brought significant economic impact to Inverness and the surrounding area as well as giving people the chance to connect and share memorable experiences through its programme of online and in-person events.

"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.”

Councillor Calum Munro, the chair of Highland Council’s Gaelic Committee, said: “The Mòd’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, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “We were delighted that the Royal National Mòd 2021 took place both in person and online. Its impact in increasing the use and promotion of Gaelic is invaluable, and its economic impact consistently demonstrates how important Gaelic is to the Scottish economy.”

The Royal National Mòd is supported by EventScotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, The Highland Council, EventScotland, The Scottish Government, HIE, Caledonian MacBrayne and SQA.

The Royal National Mòd will take place in Perth from October 14 to October 22, 2022, and for more information, visit the organisation's website.

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