by Iain Smith
Plans to establish a purpose-built Gàidhlig music, culture and heritage centre in South Uist have been thrown into doubt after a bid to secure funding from the Big Lottery Fund was unsuccessful.
Ceòlas, working in partnership with Lews Castle College UHI, is leading plans to establish the ambitious £9.56million centre. Together they proposed to erect a purpose-built education and performance centre that would provide year-round education alongside performances of an international standard in music, song and dance as well as other aspects of Gàidhlig culture and heritage. Detailed plans for the new centre had been drawn up and, after consultation with the local community, a site was identified for the new facility in Daliburgh.
Ceòlas recently submitted a funding bid for £1.365 million towards the cost of the project to the Big Lottery Fund. However, it has emerged that at this stage the Big Lottery Fund has declined to offer the project any funding.
It had been hoped that the new centre would be completed by June 2017.
However, despite the disappointment of the failed bid, Ceòlas chair Mary MacInnes insists that efforts to secure funding from other sources will continue.
“We are obviously very disappointed that our application to the Big Lottery Growing Community Assets fund was unsuccessful,” she said.
“Nevertheless, we remain very confident about the project’s viability and are positive about the wide-reaching social and economic benefits that it will bring to our community. We are continuing to work closely with our partners at Lews Castle College UHI to identify alternative funding sources to make up the shortfall in our capital investment plan.”
Ceòlas is already preparing other funding applications, and the board will meet later this month to discuss the way forward for the project.
Photo: Visualisation of the proposed new centre at Daliburgh (John Renshaw Architects)
This article was edited on 14th October 2015 (1629).