Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Scottish Register of Tartans clears final hurdle

The Scottish Parliament today backed measures to protect, promote and preserve tartan as one of Scotland’s most iconic and valuable assets.

The Scottish Government has been working with Jamie McGrigor MSP on a Members’ Bill to introduce a Scottish Register of Tartans.

After MSPs backed stage three of the Bill, Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said:

“Tartan is deeply woven into the cultural fabric of Scotland and is an internationally recognised symbol of our country.

“We also know that the tartan industry makes a significant contribution to Scotland’s economy.

“We have been working constructively with Jamie McGrigor MSP since last year and I am pleased that all our efforts have now come to fruition with the Bill receiving cross-party support.

“It is only right that we take action to safeguard one of our most valuable assets for future generations by establishing a Scottish Register of Tartans.

“The Register will make tartan more accessible than ever before. It means people across the world will be able very soon to use the Register as an on-line resource to research, design their own family tartan and have it woven in Scotland – the spiritual home of tartan.

“I am particularly pleased that we will be able to launch the Tartan Register in time for 2009, Scotland’s Year of Homecoming.

“I would like to invite people across the globe with an interest in tartan to come to Scotland in 2009 for what promises to be an extraordinary year of celebrating Scotland’s great contribution to the world.”

Mr McGrigor said:

“I am delighted that today sees the final Parliamentary scrutiny of my Bill for a Scottish Register of Tartans. This marks the culmination of long and assiduous work by many of Scotland’s tartan experts and enthusiasts, and I am grateful to them for their efforts.

“Tartan is an iconic Scottish product – and deeply interwoven with our proud national identity. It is inherently right we should have a publicly and independently held Scottish Register of Tartans to help preserve and promote one of our most important national emblems and products.

“The challenge now for the Scottish tartan industry is to do their part – to seize the opportunities the Register will create to promote Scottish tartan – and to market Scottish designed, produced and owned tartans as authentic, high quality products.”

In Parliamentary session 2006/07, Jamie McGrigor MSP tabled a Members’ Bill for a publicly-funded national register to recognise, classify and authenticate tartans. This attracted cross party support and Mr McGrigor agreed to withdraw his Bill on the basis that the previous administration was supportive. Enterprise Minister Jim Mather confirmed last year that the Scottish Government supported the idea and agreed to work with Mr McGrigor and the industry to introduce the Register.

The National Archives of Scotland will play a crucial role in setting up, operating, maintaining and facilitating access to the Register. The Court of the Lord Lyon and tartan experts will play roles advising and supporting the Register.

Some of Scotland’s leading tartan experts have been instrumental in working on the Bill, including the holders of existing private registers – Brian Wilton of the Scottish Tartans Authority and Keith Lumsden of the Scottish Tartans World Register – who have shared their records with the Register. It also included the recently retired Lord Lyon – Robin Blair – and the current Lord Lyon King of Arms, David Sellar. It also included Deirdre Kinloch Anderson of Kinloch Anderson and Nick Fiddes of Scotweb. The late James Scarlett, one of Scotland’s foremost tartan academics and Alasdair Campbell of Airds, the former Unicorn Pursuivant (an officer of the Court of the Lord Lyon) were influential in the proposals.

An Economic Impact Study has shown that the tartan industry contributes some £350 million to the Scottish economy.

source-Scottish Parliament

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