New Sabhal Mòr building to be named in memory of Sir Iain Noble
The first building in the new Kilbeg Development is to be named in memory of the late Sir Iain Noble, who was instrumental in the establishment and early development of the College. The new centre will be called “Ionad Iain Nobail”, the Iain Noble Centre, which will house staff from the College and provide teaching and research facilities and business premises.
Lord Minginish, Chair of the College’s Board of Directors, said: “It is altogether appropriate that this new building – the first phase of the Kilbeg Development – should be named after Iain Noble. Were it not for Iain there would be no such place as Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and the enormous benefits it has brought to the south end of Skye would never have happened. But it is also appropriate in another way. Kilbeg is about renewal, revival and progress: the very things to which Iain devoted his life when he came to Sleat. Thus the building will be iconic of the man.”
It was through the vision and efforts of Sir Iain that Sabhal Mòr Ostaig was established in 1973. The college is now part of the University of the Highlands and Islands and offers courses in various subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate level all through the medium of Gaelic. Sir Iain was a successful merchant banker and businessman but is, perhaps, best remembered in the Highlands for his sustained and proactive support of Gaelic.
His widow, Lucilla, Lady Noble, said: “It gives me great joy to learn that the flagship building of A’ Chill’ Bheag is being named Ionad Iain Nobail. I know how much happiness this news will bring to all Iain’s friends, both near and far. Given the challenges that he overcame in setting up Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, combined with his lifelong commitment and endeavour towards ensuring the future of the Gaelic language, culture and education, it will also be appreciated that Iain’s name will continue in perpetuity at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Guma fad a mhaireas Sabhal Mòr Ostaig! Long may Sabhal Mòr Ostaig continue and prosper”
The new building will be officially opened later this year, and funding assistance towards the £6.2m cost of Phase 1 at Kilbeg has been provided by the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Government, the European Regional Development Fund (Convergence) of the European Union, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Highland Council and the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Development Trust which incorporates the former Highland Fund and Urras na h-Aiseirigh.