Fàs, the Gaelic word for “growth”, is the name of the new centre for Gaelic creative and cultural industries at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye, Scotland’s only dedicated Gaelic-medium college.
The £8 million centre was opened by first minister Alex Salmond in April 2008 and will act as a hub for the development of Gaelic arts, heritage, film, media and broadcasting, and has its own TV galleries and recording studios.
Opening the centre, Alex Salmond said: “Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is hugely important to the national framework of culture and education in Scotland. With the Highlands and Islands university coming up soon it’s going to be all the more important, fitting into the fabric of education and cultural life, not just in the Highlands but in the whole of Scotland.”
Fàs will play a key role in the creative arts sector in Scotland, particularly with the creation of a new Gaelic digital TV channel.
Norman Gillies, principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, said: “There is a growing demand, and we’re moving into the visual arts with a Gaelic expression. That’s something new for us, so we’re excited about that. Opportunities are expanding very rapidly for people with a fluency in the language, so there will be fantastic opportunities.”
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig already generates around £2 million a year for the local economy. It is hoped that Fàs will boost that figure even further.