Support for ambitious new project

An artist's impression of how the new centre will look.
An artist's impression of how the new centre will look.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has announced funding for the Cnoc Soilleir project in Uist.

The project is a partnership between both Ceòlas Uibhist and Lews Castle College (UHI) to establish a centre for Gàidhlig music, dance and cultural heritage.

It has been designed to support the growth of Ceòlas, which has been successful in using the Gaelic language naturally within a community setting and attracting national and international audiences to the Gaelic arts and culture.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has awarded funding of £150,000 towards the £7 million project which has already received Scottish Government funding.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig Cathraiche (Chair), Allan MacDonald, said: “Increasing the use and status of any minoritised language is important in its revitalisation, as is the economic benefit from

activities connected with the language.

“The Cnoc Soilleir project is an excellent example of the Gaelic language’s unlimited potential in generating both economic and social benefits to Scotland. Ceòlas has long been enjoyed by a worldwide audience, including strong connections with Nova Scotia, and has played on the linguistic and cultural strengths of South Uist in particular.”

“Cnoc Soilleir will involve the Gaelic language, culture and community in a unique way. The use of Gaelic in the arts is vital to the future of the language in Scotland, playing an important role in encouraging its use, increasing its visibility, strengthening its appeal while maintaining loyalty to it.

“The project will also create new large economic and social benefits to Uist, through the creation of jobs and the generation of additional revenue streams. At the same time it will help increase the number of Gaelic speakers and the opportunities to use the language.

“It is through innovative initiatives such as this that we must look to support the Gaelic language and our rural communities going forward.”

Welcoming the funding, Ceòlas Board Member, Catrìona MacIntyre, said: “The Ceòlas board are delighted that Bòrd na Gàidhlig is supporting the Cnoc Soilleir project with this generous grant.

“The Bòrd na Gàidhlig grant will enable us to establish new and improved facilities for teaching Gaelic at the forthcoming Cnoc Soilleir centre and will support the growth of Ceòlas’ Gaelic language learning activities in the heart of South Uist’s Gaelic community.

“Cnoc Soilleir will be hugely important for Gaelic, for Uist and for the Western Isles and the Bòrd na Gàidhlig grant demonstrates the increasing support for this ground-breaking partnership project. I’m pleased to say that we are at a really exciting point right now, so expect more announcements in the next few weeks.”