Photo of Donnie Munro, Dr Farquhar and Prof Norman Gillies accepting the Dynamic Place award.
Donnie Munro, Dr Farquhar MacIntosh and Prof Norman Gillies
accepting the Dynamic Place award.
(Photo courtesy of Scottish Enterprise).

The Gaelic College on Skye, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, this week won national recognition for its community development work, and the key role it has played in regenerating its surrounding area, from the economic development agency Scottish Enterprise. Representatives from the college were at the National Rock Climbing Centre in Ratho near Edinburgh on Thursday night (24/11/2005) for the Dynamic Place Awards, now in their fifth year, where the college was highly-commended for its work in the community.

The awards look for projects which can demonstrate that they have contributed to the achievement of a Dynamic Place and are awarded by Scottish Enterprise and supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Communities Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage.

In highly commending the Skye-based college, the judges said: "Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the national centre for the Gaelic Language and Culture, is a unique institution working innovatively to create a wide range of educational and cultural opportunities through the medium of Gaelic language. It is playing a critical role in the regeneration of the Gaelic language, the culture and the community. Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has a significant international dimension and the judges were extremely impressed that the centre has become a world renowned centre of excellence in this remote area of Skye. The centre has been a key to the regeneration of the local area and has significantly contributed to the reversal of local rural de-population by providing high value employment, education and training opportunities."

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Director of Development Donnie Munro said: "Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is deeply honoured to have received this prestigious national award which recognises that dynamic places are not just physical entities, but are the product of the collective aspirations, commitment and energy of all involved with this work."

7Stanes, a unique concept to create seven world class mountain bike trails in the south of Scotland, won the overall prize while the Gorbals Library and Real Learning Centre won the Community Development category in which Sabhal Mòr Ostaig was joint-second. The other category winners were: Edinburgh Quay Phase One in Built Environment; and 7Stanes won the Connections category as well as the overall prize.

According to Scottish Enterprise, the Scotland-wide awards are unique in their celebration of projects that are helping to drive Scotland forward. High-profile winners in the past include the Rosyth Ferry Project and the Falkirk Wheel.