Language and Culture as an economic driver

Labour Highlands and Islands MEP, Catherine Stihler this week visited Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and met with senior management, staff and students to discuss issues relating to the development of Gaelic language and culture and the importance of strengthening the support for minority languages within the European Community.

On her visit she said, "I am very much aware of the central role which Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has played in the regeneration of the language and culture and importantly, the wider economic benefits which accrue from investing in our rich cultural resources. The economic impact from this investment is self-evident and I am pleased to note that so much of what has been able to take place here is as a result of funding through European programmes.

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig illustrates what role language and culture can play in stimulating economic growth and the success story which has taken place here can indeed be replicated in other areas. I am particularly pleased to note the development of a new 'sister campus', Ionad Chaluim Chille Ìle on the island of Islay, an illustration of our island communities working together innovatively.

My visit here today simply re-enforces the fact that when we invest in language and culture in this way we release the tremendous resource of human capital, we regenerate our communities and we place them where they should be - within a vibrant and challenging international community."