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£1m HIE grant announced for Gaelic cultural centre in Uist

Published: 31/03/2019

A bid to build a £7m Gaelic cultural centre in South Uist has taken a major step forward with the project awarded £1.1m from HIE.

Cnoc Soilleir is an innovative joint venture between Lews Castle College UHI and Ceòlas Uibhist and will establish a new building for education, Gaelic language and the arts.

The facility in Daliburgh is expected to create around 40 jobs and infrastructure work is to commence this summer.

The centre will promote and celebrate the Gaelic cultural heritage of the island by providing unique learning opportunities and by hosting events and performances.

Rachel Mackenzie, area manager from HIE, said: “We are working with Cnoc Soilleir in their ambitious project to create a centre for excellence for Gaelic music, dance and cultural heritage. This is an exciting project that we are delighted to support with a grant award of £1.1m. The project will create a dedicated centre in Uist providing benefits for both visitors and residents as well as offering a place of learning and development.

“The project will bring many opportunities including new jobs, more visitors, and will transform an area rich in cultural heritage and provide a new asset for the community.”

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has also secured government funding for this major project.

It attracted more than £2.1m from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) for Phase 1 of the Cnoc Soilleir project.

Councillor Donald Crichton, Chairman of the Comhairle’s Sustainable Development Committee said: “The Comhairle welcomes this investment. The funding will help deliver an excellent project that create innovative learning, cultural engagement and enrichment of the Gaelic language and cater for sustainable employment and many other benefits for the respective local communities.”

The new centre will bring an area of currently vacant, community-owned land into productive economic use, and will provide an attractive environment for the community, visitors and students alike.

The area is recognised as a key community for the revitalisation of the Gaelic language in Scotland, and Cnoc Soilleir has a significant role in leading this development. The project will establish a new state-of-the art modern building for Gaelic and cultural heritage in South Uist, including music, dance and education.

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