Arts organisation An Lanntair has received £10,000 from wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust — which will be spent on its Education and Outreach work across the islands.
The money from Point and Sandwick comes from the profits from its community-owned wind farm at Beinn Ghrideag on the outskirts of Stornoway.
It is the first instalment of £20,000 a year committed to An Lanntair every year by Point and Sandwick Trust. The money was given as core funding, with no conditions attached, but An Lanntair has chosen to spend it on their Education and Outreach programme.
Although the arts centre is in Stornoway, they do work throughout the islands. This can include workshops in primary schools based on current exhibitions, such as the successful tour of primary schools in Lewis and Harris by multi-media artist Julie Brook, during the time of her exhibition.
The children will then get to visit An Lanntair to see the relevant exhibition for themselves and take further inspiration from it.
The education and outreach programme is not just about children and schools, though.
There are also adult education workshops, mainly within An Lanntair itself, which offer lessons in areas such as life drawing, kilt making and playing guitar.
Dance is one area that will benefit specifically from the Point and Sandwick money. More dance classes have been planned for 2017/18 and there will also be a dance summer school this year, as well as a theatre summer school — again, made possible by Point and Sandwick Trust.
Also benefitting will be the art and drama clubs for primary school pupils on a Saturday and the film club for teenagers on a Wednesday.
Another Education and Outreach area is the social inclusion project, where spaces within the arts centre are made available a few times a week to groups from the Grianan or Ardseileach centres. An Lanntair also provide the materials and staff to help these groups create their own artworks.
Point and Sandwick Trust general manager Donald John MacSween said it had committed the £20,000 “because we recognise that the arts and culture are very important — and very often in terms of supposed austerity they are the first budgets to be attacked”.
He added: “The support for An Lanntair was one of the key aims identified in our extensive community consultation.”