Fosgladh oifigeil de Leasachadh Baile na Cille Bige

Nicola Sturgeon visiting Skye.
Nicola Sturgeon visiting Skye.

Chaidh a’ chiad togalach an lùib Leasachadh na Cille Bige fhosgladh gu h-oifigeil an-diugh, (Diciadain), le Ciad Mhinistear na dùthcha, Nicola Sturgeon BPA.

‘S e “Ionad Iain Nobail” a thugadh air an togalach ùr aig Sabhal Mòr Ostaig OGE, an t-Ionad Nàiseanta airson Cànan is Cultar na Gàidhlig, air ainmeachadh air Sir Iain Nobail, nach maireann, fear a bha gu mòr an sàs ann a bhith stèidheachadh na Colaiste o chionn còrr is 40 bliadhna.

Thòisich obair air Ìre 1 den phròiseact mhòr, ùr, ‘Leasachadh Baile na Cille Bige’, a tha air a stiùireadh le Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, ann an Slèite san Eilean Sgitheanach sa Mhàrt 2014. Cho math ri seirbheisean is bun-structar, ris an tèid eileamaidean eile de Mhòr-phlana Baile na Cille Bige a chur, chaidh Ionad Iain Nobail a thogail airson Obair Sgoilearachd, Rannsachaidh, Aiseag Eòlais agus Tionnsgalachd. Tha pàirt den ionad ùr seo cuideachd na dhachaigh do luchd-obrach na Colaiste a b’ àbhaist a bhith ag obair san t-seann ‘shabhal’ aig Àrainn Ostaig.

Thuirtam Morair Minginis , Cathraiche a’ Bhùird Stiùiridh aig an t-Sabhal Mhòr: “Tha mi airson meal-a-naidheachd a chur air a h-uile duine a thug sinn gu far am bheil sinn an-diugh. Tha iad ro lìonmhor airson an ainmeachadh ach bhiodh e iomchaidh taing a thoirt dhan riaghaltas airson an taic aig a h-uile ìre dhen iomairt. Tha an taic a tha sin air a comharrachadh leis a’ Chiad Mhinistear a bhith seo an-diugh airson Ionad Iain Nobail ainmeachadh agus fhosgladh. Tha sinn gu mòr an eisimeil gach buidheann a chuidich le maoineachadh cuideachd. ‘S e là mòr eachdraidheil a tha seo dhan an t-Sabhal Mhòr, do Shlèite agus dhan an Eilean Sgitheanach: a’ chiad cheum ann an leasachadh a mhaireas suas ri fichead bliadhna.”

Fhuaireas taic-airgid le cosgaisean £6.2m airson Ìre 1 den leasachadh aig a’ Chill Bhig bho Chomhairle Mhaoineachaidh na h-Alba, Riaghaltas na h-Alba, Mhaoin Leasachaidh Roinnean na h-Eòrpa (Convergence) aig an Aonadh Eòrpach, Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean, Chomhairle na Gàidhealtachd agus Urras Leasachaidh Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a tha a’ gabhail a-steach Maoin na Gàidhealtachd a chleachd a bhith ann agus Urras na h-Aiseirigh.

Thuirt Raibeart Muir, Manaidsear Sgìreil airson Loch Abar, An Eilein Sgitheanaich agus Taobh Sear Rois aig Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean: “Tha e na thlachd mhòr do dh’Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean gu bheil a’ chiad ìre de leasachadh Baile na Cille Bige air a coileanadh gu soirbheachail. Tha sinn a’ dèanamh fiughair cuideachd ri coileanadh nam buannachdan an lùib a’ mhaoineachaidh seo sa bhun-structar tro phròiseactan a thèid an leasachadh leis an t-Sabhal Mhòr air an làraich fhèin.”

Chuir cunnradairean a’ phròiseict, Robertson Construction Northern Ltd, crìoch air an obair sa Ghiblean 2015 agus thuirt Stiùiriche Sgìreil na companaidh, Frank Reid: “Bha sinn mothachail le pròiseact Baile na Cille Bige nach ann air togalach a-mhàin a bha sinn ag obair, ach air pròiseact a chuireas ri leasachadh eaconamach an Eilein Sgitheanaich agus, gu dearbh, ri leasachadh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eileanan gu lèir. Mar sin, bha e riatanach gum freagradh an leasachadh seo ri mòr-mhiann, inbhe agus cudromachd an Ionaid Nàiseanta airson Cànan is Cultar na Gàidhlig, agus tha sinn air leth moiteil gu bheil e air tighinn gu buil agus cinnteach gun coilean e an t-amas seo. Bha e na urram dhuinn gun robh dleastanas deatamach againn an lùib leasachadh Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, airson Shlèite, an Eilein Sgitheanaich agus cultar na Gàidhlig gu lèir.”

Thuirt banntrach Shir Iain, a’ Bhaintighearna Lucilla Nobail: “Tha e a’ toirt toileachas mòr dhomh gur e Ionad Iain Nobail a bhios air a’ chiad togalach ann an Leasachadh na Cille Bige. Bha aige ri aghaidh a chur ri iomadh dùbhlan ann a bhith stèidheachadh Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, agus bha e ag obair agus a’ strì gus cànan, dualchas is foghlam na Gàidhlig a thoirt air adhart fad a bheatha. Mar sin, tha e gu math iomchaidh gum mair ainm Iain mar phàirt den Cholaiste fhèin cho fad ‘s a tha i ann.”

Chuir Comhairle Choimhearsnachd Shlèite fàilte air an ìre as ùire de leasachadh na Colaiste agus rinn iad moladh air lèirsinn Shir Iain Nobail. Thuirt Cathraiche na Comhairle, Ruairidh Moireach: “Tha an togalach ùr seo a’ comharrachadh leasachadh leantainneach na Colaiste agus tòiseachadh ìre ùr de dh’obair coimhearsnachd ri linn Baile na Cille Bige. Tha a’ Chomhairle Choimhearsnachd a’ dèanamh fiughair ri lìbhrigeadh ghoireasan ùra adhartach aig a’ Chill Bhig às am faigh an dà chuid a’ Cholaiste agus an sgìre seo buannachd airson iomadh ginealach ri teachd.”

Mar thoradh air iomairt na Cille Bige, thèid a’ chiad ‘bhaile ùr’ a chruthachadh san Eilean Sgitheanach o chionn cha mhòr 100 bliadhna, agus bidh sin na chloich-mhìle chudromach ann an eachdraidh an Eilein. Cuideachd, togaidh e air a’ bhuaidh a tha air a bhith aig a’ Cholaiste air eaconamaidh is beatha muinntir na sgìre bho chaidh a stèidheachadh le Sir Iain Nobail ann an 1973.

As dèidh an fhosglaidh oifigeil, thug a’ Chiad Mhinistear seachad Òraid Bhliadhnail an t-Sabhail far an do bhruidhinn i mu na ceanglaichean eadar ath-bheothachadh cànan is cultar na Gàidhlig agus dùsgadh eacanomaigeach na dùthcha, agus gu seachd àraid na tha Sabhal Mòr Ostaig air cur ris a seo bhon a chaidh a’ Cholaiste a stèidheachadh.

Rinn i moladh air an lèirsinn a bh’ aig Sir Iain Nobail agus mar a tha Sabhal Mòr Ostaig air fàs tro na bliadhnaichean, an dà chuid a thaobh foghlam agus leasachadh, is gu bheil e an-diugh na shàr eisimpleir don dùthaich gu lèir.

Thuirt i: “Nuair a stèidhich Sir Iain Nobail a’ Cholaiste seo, bha a lèirsinn stèidhichte air a’ bheachd gum brosnaicheadh dùsgadh cultarail an t-ath-bheothachadh eacanomaigeach. Tha na dhà ceangailte gu daingeann. Tha an lèirsinn sin air tighinn gu buil thar dà fhichead bliadhna.”

Chuir i fàilte air pròiseact Baile na Cille Bige ag ràdh gu bheil e dha rìribh misneachail a bhith faicinn togalaichean agus leasachaidhean ùra sa Chill Bhig a tha a’ neartachadh na sgìre agus, nas fharsainge, a tha a’ sealltainn nan cothroman a tha againn airson Gàidhlig a bhrosnachadh gus buannachd sòisealta agus eacanomaigeach fhaighinn.

“Tha ballachan ùra leasachadh na Cille Bige a’ sealltainn na tha Sabhal Mòr Ostaig air cur ri foghlam na Gàidhlig; ri ath-bheothachadh Shlèite; agus ri cultar is eaconamaidh na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean.”

Mhìnich a’ Chiad Mhinistear mar a tha foghlam tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig air fàs a thoirt air luchd-labhairt na Gàidhlig agus cho fìor chudromach ‘s a tha e gun cùm na h-àireamhan a’ sìor fhàs.

Thuirt i: “Tha sinn a’ feuchainn ri dearbhadh a-nis gu bheil na laghan foghlaim agus siostam nan sgoiltean againn a’ cur ri leasachadh na Gàidhlig an àite bacadh a chur air. Mar sin dheth, tha sinn a’ gabhail ri dòigh iomchaidh agus phractaigeach a bhios na cuideachadh ann a bhith a’ dìon a’ chànain. Tha sinn ag iarraidh gun ionnsaich barrachd dhaoine a’ Ghàidhlig, gun cleachd iad i, agus gum faic iad i mar phàirt chudromach dem beatha. Ma nì sinn sin, ‘s urrainn dhuinn a bhith cinnteach gun cuir a’ Ghàidhlig ri neartachadh sòisealta is eacanomaigeach nan coimhearsnachdan ionadail.”

Thuirt Prionnsapal Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Proifeasair Boyd Robasdan: “’S e latha eachdraidheil a bha seo ann an sgeulachd an t-Sabhail Mhòir is a’ Chiad Mhinistear an dà chuid a’ fosgladh togalach ùr na Colaiste, Ionad Iain Nobail, mar a’ chiad cheum ann an leasachadh Baile na Cille Bige, agus a’ toirt seachad Òraid Bhliadhnail an t-Sabhail. B’ i an ceathramh Ciad Mhinistear a tha air an òraid a liubhart agus bha sinn air ar misneachadh gu mòr leis an taic a chur i an cèill do dh’obair na Colaiste agus leis an tuigse a nochd i mu shuidheachadh na Gàidhlig is mu àite foghlam agus craoladh ann an ath-bheothachadh ar cànain.’”

English - Official opening of Kilbeg Village Development

The first building in the new Kilbeg Development was officially opened today (Wednesday) by the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP. The new building at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI, the National Centre for the Gaelic Language and Culture, has been named “Ionad Iain Nobail” or the Iain Noble Centre, in memory of the late Sir Iain Noble who was instrumental in the establishment and early development of the College over 40 years ago.

Work began on Phase 1 of the major new ‘Kilbeg Village Development’ project, being led by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, in Sleat on the Isle of Skye in March 2014. Along with the site servicing and infrastructure, which will enable the future elements of the Kilbeg Village Master plan to be delivered incrementally over a projected 10-15 year time frame, the Iain Noble Centre was built as an Academic, Research, Knowledge Transfer and Enterprise building. Part of this new centre is also home to key College staff who previously occupied the original Ostaig Steading buildings.

The Chairman of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s Board of Directors, Lord Minginish , said: “I would like to congratulate everyone who has brought us to where we are today. There are too many to name individually butit would be appropriate to give thanks to the Government for their help at every stage of the development. By being with us today to officially open and name Ionad Iain Nobail the First Minister is demonstrating that continued support. We are greatly indebted to every group involved in the funding of the project also. This is a great and historic day for Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, for Sleat and for the Isle of Skye: the first step in a development that will continue for the next twenty years.”

Funding assistance towards the £6.2m cost of Phase 1 at Kilbeg has been provided by the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Government, the European Regional Development Fund (Convergence) of the European Union, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Highland Council and the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Development Trust which incorporates the former Highland Fund and Urras na h-Aiseirigh.

Robert Muir, Area Manager for HIE Lochaber Skye and Wester Ross said “HIE are delighted that the first phase of the ambitious Kilbeg Village development has been completed successfully. We look forward to the long term benefits of this initial infrastructure investment being realised through future projects that Sabhal Mòr Ostaig develop on site”.

The project contractors, Robertson Construction Northern Ltd, completed the development in April 2015 and the Regional Managing Director, Frank Reid, said: “With Kilbeg Village, we were conscious that we weren’t simply working on a building, but something that would help stimulate the continuing success of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig – as well as contribute towards the economic growth of Skye and the wider Highlands and Islands area. It was vital then that this development reflected the ambition, quality and significance of the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, so we are particularly proud to see it now and are certain it will fulfil this goal. We are honoured to have played an integral part in the development of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig for not just Sleat and Skye, but the whole Gaelic culture.”

Sir Iain’s widow, Lucilla, Lady Noble, said: “It gives me great joy to learn that the flagship building of A’ Chill’ Bheag is being named Ionad Iain Nobail. Given the challenges that he overcame in setting up Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, combined with his lifelong commitment and endeavour towards ensuring the future of the Gaelic language, culture and education, it will also be appreciated that Iain’s name will continue in perpetuity at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.”

Sleat Community Council welcomed this latest phase of the College’s development and paid tribute to the vision of Sir Iain Noble. Their Chairman Roddy Murray said “This latest development marks not only the continuing growth of the College but also the start of a new phase of Community involvement and diversification through the Kilbeg Village Plan. The Community Council looks forward to the provision of further enhanced facilities at Kilbeg which will benefit both the College and the community for generations to come”.

The Kilbeg initiative will result in the creation of the first new ‘planned village’ on Skye, in almost 100 years and is, therefore, of great historical significance. It will also build upon the significant socio-economic impact which the College has had in the region since its founding by Sir Iain Noble in 1973.

After the official opening, the First Minister delivered the annual Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Lecture where she spoke of the relationship between Gaelic linguistic and cultural regeneration and the economic vitality of the country and, in particular, of what Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has contributed since the establishment of the College.

She praised Sir Iain Noble’s vision and the ways in which Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has grown over the years, in regards to both education and development, and in which the College is today a great example to the entire country.

She said: “When Sir Ian Noble established this college, his vision was partly based on the view that cultural regeneration would encourage economic regeneration. The two go hand in hand. That vision has been vindicated here on Sleat over the last four decades.”

She welcomed the Kilbeg Village project and said that it is truly encouraging to see the new buildings and developments at Kilbeg which are strengthening the local area and also showing the opportunities that we have available and the social and economic benefits that come from revitalising Gaelic.

“The new walls of the Kilbeg development demonstrate the contribution Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has made to Gaelic learning; to the regeneration of the Sleat peninsula; and to the culture and economy of the Highlands and Islands.”

The First Minister explained how Gaelic medium education had increased numbers of Gaelic speakers and how important it is that that these numbers continue to rise.

She said: “What we’re trying to do now is to ensure that our education legislation and schools system help rather than hinder the development of Gaelic. So we’re adopting a proportionate and practical approach which will help to secure the language’s future. We want more people to learn Gaelic, to use it, and to see its relevance in their everyday lives. And in doing so, we will ensure that Gaelic contributes to the social and economic wellbeing of local communities.”

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Principal, Professor Boyd Robertson commented: “Today marked an important milestone in the developing story of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig with the First Minister performing the twin functions of opening the new Iain Noble Centre, the first stage of the ambitious Kilbeg Village Development and delivering the annual SMO lecture. She was the fourth First Minister to give the lecture and we were greatly encouraged by her recognition of the work of the College and her support for it. She also exhibited a good grasp of the position of the language and the key role education and broadcasting play in reviving its fortunes.”