On 10th March, 1999, Marjorie Mowlam, one of Her Majesty’s Principle Secretaries of State, made Order 1999 Number 8591 establishing North-South co-operation bodies. The functions of the Language Body in relation to Ullans and Ulster-Scots cultural issues would be exercised by an Ulster-Scots Agency of the Body. Ullans was to be understood as the variety of the Scots language traditionally found in parts of Northern Ireland and Donegal. Ulster-Scots cultural issues related to the cultural traditions of the part of the population of Northern Ireland and the border counties which were of Scottish origins and the influence of their cultural traditions on others, both within the island of Ireland and in the rest of the world. This document thus allowed a distinction between the language, which is spoken by people of varying ancestry and nationalities, and the cultural traditions, which are an amalgam of Ulster and Scottish traditions, including Highland, Lowland and Hebridean.
In 1998/99 the Government had funded the USLS to produce a development plan for the Ulster-Scots language. This “Edmund Report” was produced in July 2000 by consultant John Edmund, its official title being, A Strategic Plan for the Promotion of the Ulster-Scots Language. It provided an updated, detailed language development proposal as a model for the work of the Ullans Academy. This report again provided detailed costings for a core-funded Academy. The resourcing of the critical elements of the language development plan was agreed by Government and approved in the 2000-2003 corporate plans for the Ulster-Scots Agency. However, the agreed £1.5 million expenditure on the language plan was not processed.
To be continued