A £7m plan for a Gaelic arts centre in South Uist has won £1m in support from the Scottish Government, it was formally announced yesterday (August 17th).
Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan welcomed the announcement from Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP during a visit to the Uists about the Cnoc Soilleir project in Daliburgh.
The investment will come from the Scottish Government’s Gaelic Capital Plan. The project is being done in collaboration with Lews Castle College UHI and will establish a multi-functioning Gaelic education and arts centre in Uist. It is hoped to create up to 40 jobs, the MSP said.

Cnoc Soilleir is a partnership project between long-established Gaelic-tuition festival Ceòlas Uibhist and Lews Castle College UHI to establish a centre for Gàidhlig music, dance and cultural heritage in Uist.

Cnoc Soilleir will support the growth of Ceòlas’ community-led activity around Gàidhlig language learning, music and dance, including the highly acclaimed Summer School, Winter Festival, Song Conference and Symposium.

Cnoc Soilleir will also support the growth of the hugely successful Lews Castle College UHI music programmes (BA in Applied Music, MA in Music and the environment, and HNC Music) and will provide capacity for the delivery of additional Creative Industry courses, enabling further growth in student numbers.

Alasdair Allan MSP with Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP, Chair of Ceòlas Mairi MacInnes and Lews Castle College UHI Principal Iain MacMillan

Alasdair Allan MSP commented:  “I was delighted to see this announcement earlier on today. This is good news for South Uist and good news for the Gaelic language.
“Ceòlas does fantastic work and I am impressed with their ambitious plans to develop a centre for Gaelic music, dance and culture at Cnoc Soilleir. This will help to create a sustainable future for the language, while creating jobs and increasing cultural and educational activity here in Uist.
“Today’s announcement is further demonstration of the Scottish Government’s commitment to support Gaelic and Gaelic speaking communities.”