Comhairle Secures Government Funding for Major Investments

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has been successful in attracting over £2.1m from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) for a major investments in both Phase 1 of Ceolas’ Cnoc Soilleir project in Daliburgh in South Uist and Grinneabhat, the former old School in Bragar, Isle of Lewis. These projects have a combined value of £6.5m.

“Councillor Donald Crichton, Chairman of the Comhairle’s Sustainable Development Committee said:  “The Comhairle welcomes investment by the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Funding of £2.1m to Ceolas and Urras Coimhearnachd Bhradhagair agus Arnoil. The funding secured will help deliver two excellent projects 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 Comhairle’s Economic Development Regeneration team are working with the groups to progress the activities necessary to deliver these projects.”

The project will establish a new state-of-the art modern building for Gaelic and cultural heritage in South Uist, including Gaidhlig language, music, dance and education. The new centre in Daliburgh 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. It will improve local access to both formal and informal education and offer cultural engagement opportunities to all.  This area is recognised as a key community for the revitalisation of the Gàidhlig language in Scotland, and Cnoc Soilleir has a significant role in leading this development.

Urras Coimhearnachd Bhradhagair agus Arnoil (UCBA) is working together with the community to refurbish a community asset which will contribute economically, socially and culturally for the benefit of locals and visitors. The development will empower the community to deliver opportunities, through volunteering, training, and employment opportunities, to tackle area decline and depopulation and giving the community a sustainable long term future.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is supporting UCBA with a grant of £100,000.

Rachel Mackenzie, area manager at HIE in the Outer Hebrides, said: “We are delighted to assist UCBA to regenerate the old Bragar School and create a new vibrant community hub offering social and learning opportunities for the residents as well as for visitors to the surrounding villages. It’s good news that new jobs will be created at the Grinneabhat Centre and that it will build on work to promote and celebrate the community’s rich Gaelic cultural heritage. We are pleased to be working with the group in their plans and look forward to seeing the transformation of the school. “We are also 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 new facility will create a dedicated centre in Uist providing benefits for both visitors and residents as well as a place of learning and development. The project builds on the strengths in Gaelic music, culture and heritage and 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.”

The Regeneration Capital Grant Fund is administered through the Scottish Government’s Social Justice and Regeneration Division, having been developed in partnership with COSLA and its member Councils. An annual budget of £25m – open only to applications from Scottish local authorities - provides financial support to deliver eligible projects that deliver large-scale improvements to deprived areas locally.