Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Inverness seeks to create Gaelic language cultural centre

The Gaelic language (Gàidhlig) in Scotland is undergoing something of a mini-renaissance of interest just now, thanks to the groundbreaking Scottish Gaelic course on Duolingo (, and the BBC's new Speak Gaelic series and course ( Spoken historically all over Scotland, and to this day in much of the Western Isles and the Highlands, one of the biggest challenges that learners face is the opportunity to practice talking in the newly acquired language.

A new initiative in Inverness is fundraising to build Scotland's first 'culturlann', a thriving community hub with Gaelic at its heart. From the crowdfunder site:

Help us create a modern and vibrant Gaelic Cultural Centre where fluent speakers, learners and visitors of all ages can meet and enjoy the  language and culture.

Our aim is to create a space, with the Gaelic language at its heart, which will showcase and celebrate our culture .

    A welcoming Café with Gaelic speaking staff.
    A retail area selling Gaelic books, cards, CDs, t-shirts and many other Gaelic related gifts.
    An exhibition space promoting understanding of the history of the language
    Meeting rooms for Gaelic learning activities.
    A venue for Ceilidhs, concerts, family events, story-telling and other public events.

There is a higher percentage of Gaelic speakers in Inverness than any other city in Scotland and therefore, in the world ! We have a very successful Gaelic medium school full of children bursting with talent!

And yet. . . there is nowhere in the city where Gaelic speakers and learners can hear and use the language in a natural day-to-day environment and nowhere for visitors to find out more or experience an authentic Gaelic welcome.

With YOUR help, Cultarlann Inbhir Nis aims to change that!

Please donate if you would like to help make this happen!

A short video about the project is available at, and presented below for convenience:

The initiative is based on successful schemes that have been up and running for a while over the water in Northern Ireland, with regards to the local flavour of Gaelic there, Gaeilge, such as Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich in Belfast, and Cultúrlann Aonach Mhatha in Armagh. As a student in the 1990s I actually filmed a project at the Belfast based centre, which even had a secondary school based on site, and was blown away by what it had been able to achieve. To see something similar for Inverness would be an absolute dream come true, and yet another reason to visit!

If your ancestry includes a Gaelic component, or if you're a Gael today, old or new, please consider giving your support to this amazing project to help revitalise one of Scotland's longest establish languages. You can read more about the project, and make a donation, at  

Gura math theid leibh to the team!


My new book Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records is now available to buy at Also available - Sharing Your Family History Online, Tracing Your Scottish Family History on the Internet, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), and Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry Through Church and State Records - to purchase, please visit Further news published daily on The Scottish GENES Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful blog and for promoting this exciting project. Please donate to help us make this Gaelic centre a reality, and provide a service for Gaelic speakers and the many many people who are learning this ancient and beautiful language. Ceud mìle taing.