A key Gaelic publisher based in The Outer Hebrides is set to benefit from £13,390 funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help target international markets and increase production.
Acair Ltd was originally set up to provide resources for a new bilingual education project and to this day still publishes and sells books, particularly for children, with many so popular they require to be reprinted.
Based at An Tosgan, the Gaelic hub in Stornoway, Acair is now looking to reach more customers and develop new markets around the world.
The company employs three full time employees and often hires sole traders such as designers, editors and translators who could all benefit from this increase in production.
Acair also employs a young island graduate through the HIE funded ScotGrad graduate placement scheme who is working on developing their marketing strategy and creating engaging content across a number of channels.
This project aims to develop a year round programme of activities to serve both the local area as well as attract new customers nationally and internationally. Acair staff will attend the London and Bologna Book Fairs as part of planned activities for the next two years. In addition, the company will expand its eBooks portfolio, undertake training with Publishing Scotland and increase its marketing activity.
Building on the HIE led research Ar Stòras Gàidhlig which highlighted significant opportunities for the language, HIE is certain this project will add value in a variety of ways.
Rachel Mackenzie, HIE’s area manager, said: “We have worked with this small but dynamic team for a number of years and we are delighted to be able to assist their latest venture.
“Acair has always played an important role in developing and preserving the Gaelic language and culture. We are pleased to assist Acair to expand their international reach and develop new markets globally.”
Acair have also been developing new partnerships with complementary supply chain organisations, social enterprises and community enterprises to bring innovative products.
These include the new writers’ series of books developed with Stòrlann Nàiseanta na h−Alba and the award winning Dol Fodha na Grèine/Going Down of the Sun, a co−production with Comunn Eachdraidh Nis for a World War I production.
The team at Acair is led by manager Agnes Rennie.
She said: “As we approach our 40th anniversary we are very excited at the prospect of selling a lot more Acair books into the international market place.
“We have benefited enormously from being an account managed business with HIE with good support from our account managers and specialist input where it’s been most needed.”