THE GOVERNMENT is to fund Scotland's sole Gaelic college, Sabhal Mor Ostaig on Skye, on the same basis as other further education colleges in order to support the University of the Highlands and Islands project.
The college has received about Pounds 140,000 annually from the Scottish Office's cultural development division until now, alongside Pounds 200,000 from the European Social Fund and Pounds 100,000 from local authorities.
But Scottish secretary Michael Forsyth has offered the college a grant of Pounds 400,000 in the coming year to safeguard its future.
"A recent consultancy report into the funding of UHI institutions highlighted problems the college was facing with diminishing support from local authorities and recommended that the college should be put on the same funding footing as other further education colleges," Mr Forsyth said. "I accept that there is a good case for this to ensure that the college can play its full part in the development of the UHI project."
Calum Robertson, the college's head of finance and marketing, said Sabhal Mor was delighted. "It gives the college a recognition that it hasn't had before from the Scottish Office. We've never had core funding as such," he said.