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HIE funding boost for Fèisean nan Gàidheal

Published: 23/05/2018

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has announced £370,000 support to Fèisean nan Gàidheal for the next three years.

In partnership with Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and local authorities, HIE’s investment will help the organisation improve and build upon the success it has generated over the last 35 years.

Fèisean nan Gàidheal is at the forefront of Gaelic arts development and plays a key role in supporting young people through community-based Gaelic arts tuition and festivals throughout Scotland.

The three-year funding package forms part of HIE’s support for arts and cultural activity strengthening the Highlands and Islands.

Projects will include expanding Cèilidh Trails and the Blas Festival, allowing young and aspiring musicians the opportunity to tour and perform at local venues across the Highlands and Islands.

A range of new activities will be developed including work involving Gaelic language, song and drama which will be delivered to schools where Gaelic is not taught through Fèisgoil; supporting activity participation for early years groups through Hùb Hàb; and providing residential programmes for community activities delivered in Gaelic.

Fèisean nan Gàidheal was formally established in 1991 and now operates as one of the largest cultural social enterprises in the Highlands and Islands. It delivers services to more than 200 communities across Scotland reaching over 70,000 people annually.

Around 13,000 young people participate in activities supported by Fèisean nan Gàidheal across Scotland. A range of local people who have been regular fèis participants have progressed into further education and training as well as professional careers. These include the acclaimed Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis as well as musicians Mairearad Green and Anna Massie who are well-known talents in the traditional music scene.

Ann Marie Reid, HIE’s senior development manager, said: “Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s economic benefits are enjoyed in some of our most fragile communities and participating in the fèisean brings new skills and confidence to young people. It has made an immense contribution to the lives of many young people and has strengthened both traditional music and the Gaelic language throughout Scotland.”

“The organisation has played a key role in expanding and enhancing opportunities for young people to gain new skills and employment. It has significantly raised attainment levels within the traditional arts with an increasing number of young people taking advantage of study and employment opportunities mainly within the creative industries sector."

Arthur Cormack, Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Chief Executive said: “As Scotland celebrates the Year of Young People in 2018, Fèisean nan Gàidheal is extremely grateful for this latest funding agreement with HIE. HIE has supported our growth over many years and we, in turn, have played our part in strengthening communities through the work we do with the Fèisean. The three-year agreement will run alongside our funding from Creative Scotland and will generate a range of linguistic, cultural, social and economic benefits.”

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