Scotland's First Minister visited Ayrshire on Saturday to meet the team behind a booming Gaelic language class in Prestwick.

Humza Yousaf spent an hour at the town's 65 Club, where the Prestwick Gaelic Group's members meet every weekly.

The group has more than 30 members and around 15 people, adults and youngsters, regularly attend the Saturday conversation group to brush up on their language skills and start learning Gaelic for the first time.

The First Minister said: "Gaelic is such a rich, historic language, and we must make sure it is thriving in the future.

Ayr Advertiser: The First Minister meets Prestwick Gaelic GroupThe First Minister meets Prestwick Gaelic Group (Image: Newsquest)

"I am so pleased to be able to announce more funding for Gaelic. We have seen growth right across the country, here in Ayrshire as well, thanks to groups like this bringing people together and with kids here too.

"We have also announced a Scottish Language Bill which will see funding for all Scots languages, such as Doric, so all Scots languages have a sustainable future.

"We want to see these languages not just survive, but thrive."

Ayr Advertiser: Humza Yousaf with Anne McIndoeHumza Yousaf with Anne McIndoe (Image: SNP)

Joining the First Minister on his visit to the town were sitting Central Ayrshire MP Dr Philippa Whitford, who is standing down at the next election, as well as the duo's SNP colleagues Siobhian Brown, Prestwick's constituency MSP, and Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock MP Allan Dorans.

Also present was Annie McIndoe, who is hoping to succeed Dr Whitford as the town's representative at Westminster when the UK goes to the polls at the next General Election, widely expected to be held later this year.

Ms McIndoe added: "I was very impressed by the fact that there are so many teachers here in this class too."

The First Minister said one of his regrets was not continuing Urdu lessons after he turned 11 or 12.

He added: "I have two little girls, and a baby on the way in July, and I am trying to get them both into languages.

"I was delighted to see such enthusiasm for Gaelic. And it was wonderful to see the diversity of the group here. We want to support Gaelic in Scotland and other languages too."

Ayr Advertiser: The First Minister meets Prestwick Gaelic Group

Mr Yousaf was also impressed by the work being carried out to restore Prestwick's iconic Broadway Cinema.

He told Ayrshire Weekly Press: "It's been good to learn more about the area, and the Friends of the Broadway reviving the cinema is great idea.

"This is a community taking the intiative for themselves, regenerating this building and what they need is the support."

Ayr Advertiser: Humza visit

Ms McIndoe, who hails from Troon, added: "In terms of the community generally, there are lots of projects going on in South Ayrshire, where local volunteers are making a difference.

"The watersports hub in Troon is just about to go for building control approval, and that, too, is all about local people coming together to make a difference.

"The support from the community is huge and we need to celebrate all the people who give up their time, because it really makes a difference. And the Broadway cinema is a great example of this."

A spokesperson for the Prestwick Gaelic Group said: "We give a warm welcome to new friends. We have about 30 members and usually about 15 at our meetings which are held in The 65 Club (65 Main Street, Prestwick) from 10.15am to 12pm every Saturday.

"We have fluent speakers and new learners and we’re making steady progress through chat around various topics.

Ayr Advertiser: Humza visit

"There’s no charge to be a member of our group, but £1 now and then covers the hire of the hall. I can give more details to anyone who might like to use and grow their Gaelic in the relaxed company of friends."

For more information on the group, email