CASE STUDY: Gaelic Communities Fund
Urras Coimhearsnachd Bhràdhagair agus Arnoil | Bragar and Arnol Community Trust
Project: Grinneabhat 2122
Gaelic Communities Fund Awarded: £5,000
Urras Coimhearsnachd Bhràdhagair agus Arnoil (UCBA) was set up in 2012 to serve the villages of Bragar and Arnol, an area of about 150 households and 400 people, approximately 70 percent of whom speak Gaelic. UCBA is a social enterprise that uses all their profits to ensure benefit to the local community of Bragar and Arnol. This includes running the community facilities, exhibition space, cafe, visitor accommodation, laundrette, and electric car charging point. The Trust is the owner of the Grinneabhat community building in North Bragar on the Isle of Lewis.
UCBA has a strong commitment to support, promote and develop the use of Gaelic not only in the work of the organisation, but also through community and national efforts to support Gaelic language and culture. The UCBA project, Grinneabhat 2122, developed a full programme of activities and social support opportunities for the area. In doing so, they aimed to increase the opportunities to use Gaelic in the area while sharing the history, heritage, and social opportunities.
The project was developed by Community Officer Murdo Morrison, along with the Grinneabhat Manager, volunteers, and locally based freelance Gaelic professionals. The original plan was followed, in part due to the experience of the staff and volunteers involved in the project.
The Grinneabhat 2122 events programme was well supported by the local community and visitors alike. This included a weekly Speak Gaelic classes, film screenings, cèilidhs, workshops, and a week of community events in celebration of the 10 years of the Trust. A particular highlight of the programme was a week-long celebration marking of 100th Anniversary of the Whalebone Arch in Bragar. The last event was an excellent use of a historic event to tie together a topic of interest with the opportunity to use Gaelic.
UCBA have used their experience of community events, the anniversary of the Trust, and the skills of local Gaelic speaking professionals to create a cohesive and structured range of events for the local community. By focusing on the historic and cultural elements of the community, UCBA has celebrated the history and culture of the area and the support from the local community and visitors to the area has highlighted the importance of Grinneabhat as community building and UCBA as an organisation which provides a safe and supportive environment at the heart of the community.
Photos by Fiona Rennie and North Harris Trust