New developments from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig could see more affordable housing, an initiative to house and learn from elderly Gaelic speakers and plans for a new sports centre.
Kate Forbes MSP, attending a Kilbeg Village road naming ceremony, also announced the imminent start on the next phase of the affordable housing. The plans will shortly be submitted for Full Planning Consents.
This next phase will see the creation of up to 31 units of housing on the site, featuring a range of models and types of tenure, including Rent to Buy, Self-Build, Housing for the Elderly and, affordable for rent housing. All tenures come with a Rural Housing Burden attached to title, thereby retaining the housing stock in perpetuity for the benefit of those committed to living and working in the local area.
Additionally an exciting new ‘pilot’ initiative is also being advanced which will encourage the opportunity for elderly Gaelic speakers to relocate to special housing for the elderly being planned for the village, as part of a special initiative which will seek to promote the benefits of transgenerational transmission and communication, whereby students from Sabhal Mòr will have the opportunity to benefit from the rich resource which elderly native speakers would bring to their learning experience and environment and from which the elderly will, in turn, gain great potential benefits from the stimulus, support, engagement and interaction with a new generation of young Gaels.
In addition to the announcing the next phase of Housing, Kate Forbes MSP, also very much welcomed the news that plans for the new Kilbeg Sports, Fitness, Recreation, Health and Well-being Centre are also currently underway, following detailed community consultation and the development of a full Feasibility and Business plan. This will bring badly needed sports and recreation facilities to the area, as an integral part of the wider Kilbeg Village development and will benefit Sabhal Mòr students and staff alike along with the whole South Skye Community and the growing number of visitors who come to the area annually.
It is intended that this work will run concurrently with the new Phase 2 Housing developments. Work is now being finalised to take the proposal forward to planning.
Kate said: “The importance of the new village cannot be overestimated at a time when housing is in high demand and people find it difficult to get affordable accommodation. I am unashamedly supportive of placing Gaelic right at the heart of this new village. English is usually the dominant language in every sphere of life, so it will be wonderful to walk down the new streets in the years to come and hear Gaelic spoken.
“I have benefited from transgenerational transmission of Gaelic, chatting to elderly Gaelic speakers. Their knowledge of the language is precious and won’t be around forever, so it is right that efforts are made to connect them with younger speakers.”
On the same day, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig honoured the former Chair with a special Kilbeg Village road naming ceremony.
The Directors, Principal and the Senior Management Team of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, warmly welcomed the official naming of the first road, Rathad MhicGuaire (MacQuarrie Road), in the new Kilbeg Village Development in recognition of the key role Mr Duncan McQuarrie has played in the College’s development over many years.