The island community of South Uist has received a £2million jobs, education and social boost with additional funding for its community hub.

The Cnoc Soilleir centre on South Uist, Outer Hebrides, will be extended to provide more educational and social opportunities to residents.

In one of his final ministerial engagements, Deputy First Minister John Swinney will today chair the Convention of Highlands and Islands (CoHI) – which he has chaired on every occasion it has met since the SNP came to power in 2007 – at the hub which he formally opened in September 2022.

The facility hosts a range of events, including Gaelic education and music, and provides a base for activities run by the University of the Highlands and Islands Outer Hebrides.

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It has now been granted a further £2 million by the Scottish Government for phase two of the project, which includes the building of an auditorium which accomodates up to 200 people, as well as rehearsal and teaching rooms.

The additional funding takes the Scottish Government’s total support to £5.75 million.

Mr Swinney made the funding announcement ahead of CoHI.

The Herald:

He said: “I am delighted to announce this additional funding for such an important project that is already hugely popular amongst local residents.

“The new facilities will provide further employment, educational and social opportunities for the island, attract high-calibre touring events and, crucially, help increase the number of people learning Gaelic.

“It is fitting that the centre will be hosting CoHI, a vibrant forum that enables the Scottish Government, member organisations and businesses to discuss local issues and find ways of ensuring the region continues to flourish.

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“It has been an enormous privilege for me to chair every Convention of the Highlands and Islands for the last 16 years.

“I have greatly valued the opportunity to engage with communities and public authorities across the Highlands and Islands and to ensure important issues raised at the convention are addressed at the very heart of Government in Scotland.

“I am indebted to everyone who has contributed to this effective partnership over these years.”