A Gaelic music, culture and heritage centre planned in South Uist has been awarded £1 million funding.
The £7 million Cnoc Soilleir project will receive the investment from the Scottish Government’s Gaelic Capital Plan and is expected to create around 40 jobs.
Cnoc Soilleir will support the growth of Ceòlas Uibhist community-led activity around Gaelic language learning, music and dance, as well as the Lews Castle College UHI music programmes.
Additional creative industry courses will be provided to enable further growth in student numbers.
Established in 1996, Ceòlas Uibhist has grown from a week-long music and dance school to become one of Scotland’s leading Gaelic culture, heritage and arts organisations.
Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney said:“Gaelic is an integral part of Scottish identity and this Government is committed to supporting projects like Cnoc Soilleir, which will ensure a sustainable future for the Gaelic language and culture.
“I am delighted we can provide funding for this project, which will increase the number of people speaking, learning and using Gaelic as well as contributing to a vibrant community in Uist by creating around 40 jobs and increasing student numbers.”
Ceòlas’ chair Mary T MacInnes said: “As the lead partner in the current phase of the Cnoc Soilleir development, Cèolas warmly welcomes this substantial contribution towards the Centre.
“In South Uist, Gaelic is part of the way of life - commonly the language of the workplace, the home and social situations where the community gathers.
“It is a natural development for Cèolas to base its future on the strong cultural heritage of Uist.
“This commitment by the Scottish Government will be a considerable key to unlocking the other funding required.”
University of the Highlands and Islands chief operating officer and secretary, Fiona Larg, said: ”This is an important step forward in the development of the project and we welcome this announcement. It will allow detailed plans to be developed while we wait for further funding decisions.”