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Senior manager appointed for Soillse research project

Iain Campbell from Milton, South Uist, has been appointed Senior Manager for the new Gaelic research project Soillse.   

Iain currently lives near Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire. For the last eight years he has been the Director of his own consultancy company, Hecla Consulting. During that time, he has been involved in a number of research projects related to Gaelic development.

Previously, Iain was a Senior Consultant with EKOS Consultants as well as a Planning Manager for Highlands and Islands Enterprise. He has three MSc degrees as well as a BSc (Hons) in subjects related to Development, Economics and Management. He was educated at Kildonan Primary School and at Daliburgh Secondary School, South Uist.

The Soillse project will last for an initial six-year period with funding of £5.29 million. Half of the funding comes from the Scottish Funding Council (£1.866m); Bòrd na Gàidhlig (£0.541m); and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (£0.4m). The remainder comes from the Universities which are participating in the project, namely the University of Aberdeen, the University of Glasgow, the University of Edinburgh and UHI, the prospective university of the Highlands and Islands.

Soillse will research subjects in three key areas: the state of Gaelic in families and in communities; collecting hard evidence of the language benefits of Gaelic-medium education at different levels; and assessing the effectiveness of public policies on Gaelic and the language plans of public agencies.

Professor Boyd Robertson, Principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, welcomed Iain to his post, saying: “We are delighted to have appointed someone like Iain, with such excellent skills and wide experience, to a post that will be particularly important in creating a national research network that will collect information on the state and usage of Gaelic. Iain is very well-equipped to undertake this complex role.”

Speaking about Soillse and about his own role, Iain said:’Personally, it is an honour to be the Senior Manager of Soillse and I am proud that I have the opportunity to take over this role. But it is the Gaelic community which will benefit from the opportunites arising from Soillse.

‘This is the first time that such support has come from the Scottish Funding Council for research projects on subjects related to Gaelic. It is also the first time that the main Scottish universities which support Gaelic have joined together with Bòrd na Gàidhlig, with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and with other public agencies to support the initiative to extend the usage of Gaelic throughout Scotland.

‘Soillse is giving the Gaelic community the opportunity to be fully represented when policies about the state of our language are discussed at the highest levels. I am particularly looking forward to working closely with Gaelic communities throughout Scotland, with the universities and researchers who will be involved in this project, and with the other public agencies supporting Soillse and the drive to give everyone the opportunity to speak Gaelic.’

Mr Campbell’s post will be based at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for the Gaelic Language and Culture. The project is also seeking to recruit a Researcher and a PhD student, who will both be based at the College.

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