THE organisers of an annual event celebrating the very best of the Scots language have announced that the 2024 ceremony will be held in Ayrshire.

The Scots Language Awards will take place at Cumnock Town Hall on Saturday, September 14.

The much anticipated awards ceremony, organised by Hands up for Trad, was launched this week on the Scottish Poetry Library’s ‘Gie’s a Scots Poem Day’, in a bid to highlight the importance of the Scots language in daily life, education, business, arts and culture.

As one of Scotland’s three indigenous languages, Scots is a growing tongue. The latest census saw the number of people in Scotland with some skills in Scots increase to over 46 per cent, with speakers spanning several dialects, including Doric, and stretching across regions from the Borders to Orkney.

It's the first time the ceremony will take place in Ayrshire, which is renowned for its rich history and close ties to the Scots language, with Lallan Scots widely spoken across the area’s mining towns and Alloway best known as the birthplace of Robert Burns.

Shaun Moore performs at the 2023 Scots Language Awards.Shaun Moore performs at the 2023 Scots Language Awards. (Image: Scots Language Awards)

Celebrating figures who champion the Scots language, categories at the sixth annual Scots Language Awards will include Scots Business of the Year, Scots Writer of the Year, Scots Teacher of the Year and the widely regarded Janet Paisley Services to Scots Award.

Hosted by celebrated Scots speakers Taylor Dyson and Shane Strachan, the event will also feature a host of incredible performances from local artists including Seán Gray, a singer, flute player and guitarist from nearby Coylton.

Simon Thoumire, the Scots Language Awards organiser and Hands up for Trad creative director, said: “It’s fantastic to see the continued resurgence of Scots as one of the three languages of Scotland as more and more young Scots connect with their heritage every year.

"It’s so important that the language and culture is celebrated and what better place to do this than a region where the language is so loved?

“So many of us use Scots in our everyday lives. It is a proud part of our identity and these awards serve to mark that and promote the language’s relevance, potential, and the value it holds in modern Scotland.

Weather forecaster and TV presenter Joy Dunlop is an enthusiastic supporter of the Scots language.Weather forecaster and TV presenter Joy Dunlop is an enthusiastic supporter of the Scots language. (Image: Scots Language Awards)

"We’re delighted to bring the awards ceremony to Ayrshire this year and hope to see many Scots speakers join us for a braw celebration this September.”

East Ayrshire Provost Jim Todd said: "Well, this is braw news! Ayrshire is the perfect place to hold the Scots Language Awards.

"Back in 2022, Amanda Dunn from Shortlees Primary School was recognised as teacher of the year after being nominated by parents and carers from the school for her work promoting the Scots language.

“Scots Language is an important part of our heritage, it is the language of our national poet Robert Burns and I am delighted that there has been a huge rise in interest in the language.

"Scots ought tae be part o iviry day livin.”

Singer and songwriter Iona Fyfe was among the performers at the 2023 awards ceremony.Singer and songwriter Iona Fyfe was among the performers at the 2023 awards ceremony. (Image: Scots Language Awards)

First launched in 2019, the Scots Language Awards recognise the amazing efforts and work of the people and organisations who all use and speak Scots’ unique culture, music and words.

The event's partners include East Ayrshire Council, Scottish Government, National Library of Scotland, Education Scotland, Creative Scotland, SQA, Scottish Book Trust, Itchy Coo and B&W Publishing.

Nominations will be open from July 22 until August 4, with the public vote running from August 26 until September 8, closing just a week before the awards.

To find out more, visit