An exciting new phase in the pioneering Hebridean Connections project is now under way with support from the Scottish Government People and Communities Fund (PCF), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES), and Aberdeen University.
The project totals some £300,000 over the period January 2013 to March 2015, and will create three new posts in the islands to which staff are currently being recruited.
The main aims of the project are to:
Build a network of trained community volunteers throughout the Outer Hebrides based on the Comainn Eachdraidh and other heritage organisations to preserve and promote the area’s outstanding cultural heritage in innovative ways.
Upgrade the Hebridean Connections website using the latest technology, introduce a strong Gaelic content, and extend its geographical coverage which is currently confined to parts of Lewis.
Provide a structure through which local heritage organisations throughout the Outer Hebrides can engage with and contribute to the Comhairle’s plans for a decentralised museum and archives service.
Provide a new educational resource at school and higher education levels, with increased visibility of the Gaelic language.
Deliver social, health, cultural, and economic benefits to disadvantaged rural communities throughout the islands by increased volunteering, inter-generational support, the development of IT and other skills, and the promotion of Gaelic and cultural tourism.
Donnie Morrison, chairman of Hebridean Connections, said: “This is a huge opportunity for the whole of the Outer Hebrides to benefit from our outstanding heritage. Once new staff have been appointed, we will be meeting with Comainn Eachdraidh and other heritage organisations throughout the islands to discuss their preferred involvement now and in the future. Several Comainn Eachdraidh have already committed their support, and we would very much like to involve others, depending on their wishes and local circumstances.”
Typical of the many thousands of records and photographs on the current Hebridean Connections website is this picture linking to family details of the business owner.
Angus Macleod, his son Murdoch and staff at the shop on Cromwell Street, Stornoway. Angus, son of Murdo Macleod and Mary Kennedy, 9 Cromore was a baker. He ran this shop on Cromwell Street, Stornoway on the site of the present Scottish Co-op. He married Christina Macleod, Balallan and they had three children; Murdoch (1904-); Angus (1905-) and Mary (1908-) www.hebrideanconnections.com