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Kilbeg Village Development: Project Launched by Alex Salmond MSP, First Minister of Scotland

During his recent visit to the Isle of Skye, Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP, took the opportunity to officially launch the exciting Kilbeg Village Development on south Skye,a development  being led by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for the Gaelic Language and Culture.

The First Minister was joined at the launch by representatives of the key funding bodies, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Scottish Funding Council, European ERDF Programme, Highland Council and the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Development Trust, all of whom have contributed to the £6.6m Phase 1 funding package.

Phase 1 will provide development infrastructure and services to the first 4 acres of the wider Kilbeg Master-Plan site. It will also provide SMO with a new Administration, Research, Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise building which will sustain 20 existing posts and create up to 20 new jobs in the local community, generating an economic benefit of over £400k per annum. The construction of Phase 1 is planned to commence over 15 months from September 2013 with the creation of 50 jobs and earnings into the economy of £1.6m

In launching this historic new development the First Minister said,

“The Kilbeg project is a wonderful demonstration of how we can stimulate economic growth throughout Scotland and at the same time secure a 21st century future for our rural communities and our indigenous languages.

The facilities being provided as part of this development will benefit the people of Skye and attract more investment to the area.

Community involvement is integral to the success of the design and delivery of local economic and social regeneration initiatives and I look forward to returning in the future to see progress in the coming months.”

This new iconic development will ultimately result in the creation of the first ‘new village’ to be built on Skye in over 100 years and will further add to the hugely significant impact which Sabhal Mòr has had on the economic and social development of this formerly ‘fragile area’ which, against all trends, has seen its population double over recent years.

Rachael McCormack, Director of Strengthening Communities at HIE, said:

“Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s success impacts on the social, cultural and economic lives of many people both nationally and internationally.  HIE has strongly supported SMO to deliver numerous ambitious projects over the years which have not only benefited the college, its staff and students, but underpinned the growth of the local community as well. HIE is delighted to be involved in launching this ambitious development which will create new jobs, additional facilities to generate income and help attract and retain more young people in the Highlands and Islands.”

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig Principal, Prof Boyd Robertson said today,

“This is a hugely significant development for Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and the local area and will build on the legacy of all that has been achieved during the institutions short history. It is particularly fitting that all this should be happening in this  40th Anniversary  year and is an appropriate  tribute to the vision ,courage and determination of  Sabhal Mòr  Ostaig’s founder, Sir Iain Noble and his fellow founding Trustees  ”

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