Online magazine Bella Caledonia on verge of closure

Bella Caledonia by Alasdair Gray.

 Picture: PA

Bella Caledonia by Alasdair Gray. Picture: PA

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Scottish online social and political magazine Bella Caledonia will shut down, unless an urgent fundraising appeal can be met.

The brain child of writers Mike Small and Kevin Williamson, the website was launched at the Radical Book Fair in Edinburgh in October 2007.

The website - which publishes articles written in Gaelic and in Scots - provided a boost to the Yes Scotland campaign during the Scottish independence referendum in 2014.

One million unique users accessed the spirited commentary and debate that made the site popular in the month before the indyref vote.

The advisory board of Bella Caledonia confirmed its plan to close the site today “unless an urgent fundraising appeal can be met”.

It was also announced that Mike Small would be stepping down as editor due to the position being “financially precarious”.

A statement on the website reads: “The Advisory Board of Bella Caledonia confirms we are going to have to make the decision to close, unless an urgent fundraising appeal can be met.

“The Board is looking at other funding models and is appealing for urgent help to finance the magazine in a more permanent way in a year when a second independence referendum is very likely to be called. Regardless of the outcome the Board and contributors of Bella would like to thank Mike for his years of work – mostly unpaid but always cheerful, professional, imaginative and dedicated.

“Mike and our diverse range of writers have made Bella a successful online magazine and we hope that legacy can continue in some form. We thank you for your support and patience in this time as we decide how to continue. The Bella Oidhche Challain cèilidh will still take place this Thursday in the Glad Cafe at 19:30.”