Today (Wednesday 26th June) sees the launch of the ConnectG project at the Celtic Neighbours international conference held in Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Isle of Skye, Scotland. The project seeks to maximise collaboration between Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland and make stronger connections between businesses using Gàidhlig and Gaeilge.
The three project partners – Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland, Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiach, N Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta, Republic of Ireland – signed the partnership agreement which sets in train the million pound project to support enterprises grow their businesses through making more use of their language asset.
The project, which has been supported by INTERREGIVA European Regional Development Fund as well as Bòrd na Gàidhlig, MG ALBA, The Scottish Government as well as Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, will run over two years and will provide support to tourism, media and social enterprises. The various elements of ConnectG will be evaluated and this will underpin the development of a strategy for future collaboration between public sector agencies. It is anticipated that this strategy will then deliver greater efficiency and effectiveness in future language support.
Donnie Munro, chair of ConnectG steering group, welcomed the project. “We have worked on developing this project over a number of years and are delighted to see it finally come to fruition. We believe that it will provide significant opportunities for a wide range of enterprises across the three jurisdictions and will facilitate growth in language use in business.”
Pat Colgan, Chief Executive of the Special EU Programmes Body, welcomed the project saying: “This tri-partite project is a great example of the type of creative enterprise focused work that can be supported with the use of European Union funding. By bringing together partners from across the three jurisdictions in the eligible area to promote the use of Gaelic languages in business, it will provide local enterprises with a network of support which will deliver greater competitiveness and enable a more widespread use of the language. This is very much in line with the objectives of the INTERREG IVA Programme, which seeks to promote enhanced levels of cross-border co-operation for a more prosperous region.”
Steve Ó Cúláin, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta, said that Údarás was delighted to be involved in the ConnectG project. “We welcome this opportunity to work and collaborate with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiach and the other agencies to demonstrate to enterprises the economic and cultural benefits of maximising their use of the Gaelic language in their businesses”
Eimear Ní Mhathúna, CEO of Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiach said: ‘Cultúrlann is delighted to be involved in this project which, we believe, will heighten the profile of Irish/Gaelic language businesses across Scotland and Ireland and will encourage and support the growth of new initiatives, invigorating the developing use of Irish and Gaelic.”
A team of four staff will be appointed to deliver the wide-ranging project. Two will be based at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, one at Údáras na Gaeltachta and one between Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiach and Carn Togher Community Association.