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SMO Development Trust

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Development Trust is an independent, registered charitable trust managed wholly by its own independent Board of Trustees.

The Trust's purpose is to raise funds in support of the College, as the national centre for Gaelic language and culture, and to help achieve its mission to strengthen and regenrate the Gaelic language and culture of Scotland.

The Trust seeks innovative ways to engage with the wide community of support for the language and the culture and to be the conduit through which private individuals, companies, corporations, international trusts and foundations, both at home and abroad, will have the opportunity to play a vital part in supporting that mission.


Funding Our Vision

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig receives core funding through the Scottish Funding Council. Over and above this, the College is still required to raise 47% of its annual costs, simply to break even and allow us to continue with our current and projected activities in line with our strategic plan. But if we are to maintain the areate of development whiuch is necessary to meet our strategic aims for the development of the language, a great deal more needs to be done.

If Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is to be able to continue to make a real difference in securing the future of Gaelic language and culture, we have to engage the support not only of the Scottish Gàidhealtachd but also that of the national and international community.


Message from HRH the Prince of Wales and Patron of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig

"I have long held an admiration and affection for the culture of the Scottish Gael and I am delighted to be patron of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, an institution which is at the heart of the revival of the Gaelic language and traditions. With its programme of educational, cultural and reasearch activities delivered through the medium of Gaelic, this unique national centre is crucial to re-establishing and strengthening the strong cultural bonds which are a vital feature of the regenaration of Highland and Islands communities.

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is not only a centre for excellence for the language and culture, but also a symbol of what can be achieved through the vision, commitment and absolute determination of individuals who care enough to turn dreams in to reality. There are few responsibilities more absolute than those which flow from custodianship of a langauge and culture, especially when these exist to such an extent in only one country. if Gaelic dies in Scotland, it dies in the world. If it flourishes in Scotland then it sends out a message of inspiration and optimism to others who face similar challenges and adversities.  Therin lie both the challenge and the opportunity.

To help the College attain its objectives, this development trust has been established and I want to offer my sincere hopes that its support for the College will help to encourage and enable our worldwide community to contribute to securing the future of the Gaelic language and culture."


Working in Partnership

The Trust is delighted to have entered into a stragetic partnership with two of Scotland most highly regarded and long-standing charitable trusts, namely the Highland Fund and Urras na h-Aiseirigh. Both of these Trust funds were set up with the express aim of assisting the development of the Highlands and Islands communities and the Gaelic language and culture. This will now continue in perpetuity as the named endowment funds within the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Development Trust. We are deeply honoured to be associated with both of these time-honoured trusts and to have the opportunity to continue to express and reflect their founding aims and mission through their endowment.

Dr Farquhar Macintosh, a former Chairman of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, was an educationalist of great vision and innovation and a life-long campaigner for the Gaelic language and culture. Following his death in 2008 the Trust, along with his family, set up a scholarship fund as a lasting legacy to his commitment to both Gaelic and education. This exists within the Trust as a named endowment fund.


How to Provide Support

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig welcomes support from individuals, corporations, trusts, societies and other bodies interested in offering finacial or practical help to promote the furtherance of our aims.

Our key concern is to prevent any economic shortfall which could threaten the future of any projects which make up our unique integrated learning environment.

The following list offers some suggestions to donors as to the kind of ways in which they may wish to support our aims:-

  • Unconditional donations can be made to the Development Trust, either as one off payments or as a series of regular payments for the general furtherance of the College's aims.
  • Conditional donations may be made which, for example, specify the project(s) or type of project to which the donor's funds would be applied.
  • Legacies may be left to the Trust in wills. These can either be unconditional or in support of particular areas of activity.
  • Caidreamh an t-Sabhail (Friends of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig) also enables supporters to subscribe through an annual membership.
  • An endowment fund has been set up to provide a flow of income in support of a particular purpose or of a particular scholarship and, unless otherwise requested, 5% of all donations will be set aside for this purpose.

In all circumstances, arrangements can be made to ensure the most beneficial taxation treatment of financial donations.

For intenational donations, the Trust, as part of UHI, offers US donors a registered US 501(c)3 conduit to ensure the most beneficial taxation treatment of donations.


List of Key Projects and Projected Development Needs

  • Estate development at the College
  • Kilbeg Village Development Project
  • Student support services and recreational support facilities
  • Student Bursaries and Scholarships Fund
  • Endowment of academic chairs and research fellowships
  • Artists in residence Programme Fund
  • Broadening the range of cultural and leisure activities open to students and the wider community
  • Development of new courses and increased educational activity and student uptake
  • Development of stronger links with the community
  • An endowment fund to provide for future initiatives
  • Support and development of entepreneurial activities and business incubation
  • Development of international partnership programmes and initiatives
  • Research programmes
  • Development of the Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle campus on Islay
  • Building an international community of supporters

Contact us

For further information or to arrange a meeting please contact:-

Dr Donnie Munro, Chief Trust Officer


Tel: +44 (0) 1478 612177