Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (Galson Estate Trust) is set to recruit a Gaelic Development Officer as it undertakes a three-year project which will see the Gaelic language and culture being actively supported and promoted throughout the community.

The Trust manages 56,000 acres on behalf of the community in the North West of Lewis.

The £102,513 initiative is backed by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The project will see Galson Estate Trust focus on providing a range of Gaelic language and cultural activities which will aim to build on the “sense of belonging” and the interest in Gaelic heritage and culture that exists in the community. It will include increasing access to the language, supporting the learning of the language and addressing the needs of the people who live and work in, and visit, the Trust area either for business or leisure purposes.

In the longer term the Trust, which came into being in 2007, would also aim to explore how Gaelic could act as an asset to help business growth and create employment and opportunities for volunteering in the area.

Agnes Rennie, chair of Galson Estate Trust said “This project will enable the Urras to work with partners in the community to build on our rich Gaelic heritage and recognise its place as a key economic driver.  Organisations such as Comann Eachdraidh Nis and local businesses will be supported to explore new initiatives to develop their enterprise whilst nurturing and strengthening the language in the community."

She went on to say "It has been a long held ambition of the Urras to find ways to support and nurture the language of the community and a draft local language was created by the Urras and Comann Eachdraidh Nis in 2015.  We are delighted that this new funding package will let us realise that ambition."

Daibhidh Boag, Director of Language Planning and Community Developments with Bòrd na Gàidhlig said “Bòrd na Gàidhlig places great emphasis on the importance of having strong links with local communities like those served by the Galson Estate Trust. We are delighted to be supporting this project which will address some of the Board’s key strategic objectives in relation to increasing access to the Gaelic language and the learning and promotion of the language. This project also sees the Gaelic language, culture and heritage as being at the heart of the community and its long-term future.”

Rachel Mackenzie, Area Manager for HIE in the Outer Hebrides, said: “We are pleased to be supporting this project to employ a Gaelic Development Officer at Galson Estate Trust. Our investment supports the Trust’s vision to promote the Gaelic language as an economic asset within the community. The area is home to one of the highest concentrations of Gaelic speakers and there is potential to grow the contribution the language makes to the economy of the region. We look forward to working with the Trust as it capitalises on the significant opportunities arising from the potential of the Gaelic language.”