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Arts and Culture

CnES Arts and Culture Funding

The Comhairle currently support 5 key Arts organisations via Annual Funding Agreements

An Lanntair
a contemporary arts centre in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis.
Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre
a contemporary arts and heritage venue in Lochmaddy, North Uist.
Hebridean Celtic Festival
an international Celtic Music Festival which takes place in Stornoway (and at a number of rural venues) over 4 days in July.
Ceolas Uibhist
a Gaidhlig cultural, traditional music and dance Summer School/ Events programme held in South Uist in July.
Feisean nan Gaidheal
the umbrella body for the Feis movement receive CnES funding to support seven local Feisean in the Outer Hebrides to hold week-long Gaelic music, drama and cultural tuition festivals for children and young people.


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Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, in partnership with Creative Scotland.
(#VACMAScotland )

The Visual Artist and Craft Makers Awards (#VACMAScotland) are a programme of small grants schemes with a range of local authorities and art agencies across Scotland to support visual artists and craft makers in their creative and professional development.

‘We want Scotland to be a place where the arts, screen and creative industries are valued and recognised, where artists and creative people are flourishing and thriving, and where everyone, everywhere, is interested and curious about creativity.’
-Taken from Unlocking Potential, Embracing Ambition, Creative Scotland’s 10-year plan for the arts, screen and creative industries.

Established by Creative Scotland, these partnerships give support at a local level and work with local panels to offer funds to support practitioners at all stages of their career who have demonstrated a commitment to their work and in developing their practice through new work, new skills or new opportunities. 

In 2017 Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will continue to work in partnership with Creative Scotland to support individual artists and makers who live and work in the Outer Hebrides.

Artists and Craft makers are eligible to apply for awards towards the cost of developing their creative practice.  Applicants must be able to demonstrate a commitment to their work – whether they are at an early or established stage of their careers - and to advancing their skills and ideas.  

Awards of between £500 and £1,500 are available.

5PM Wednesday 4th October 2017

For further information please download the following:

Details of awards made at previous funding rounds are available here:

Community Capital Grant Fund

Town Centre Legacy Fund

Please refer to the Regeneration webpage for further details

Sgioba na Gaidhlig

Sgioba na Gaidhlig offer Financial Support for Small Gaelic Projects. Applicants must be properly constituted community groups. Projects must meet one or more of the three Strategic Objectives of the Gaelic Language Plan for the Western Isles 2007-2012:

  • To strengthen Gaelic as a language in the family in the Western Isles
  • To strengthen Gaelic as a community language in the Western Isles
  • To increase the number of Gaelic speakers in the Western Isles

For guidelines and application forms please refer to Financial Support for Small Gaelic Projects.

The Ross and Cromarty Educational Trust Scheme 1961

This scheme awards small grants and bursaries to individuals and community groups based in Lewis. Applications can be made for Arts and Cultural projects. For further details please download the Ross and Cromarty Educational Trust Guidelines (PDF, 35K) and Application Form (PDF, 169K) or contact:

Catriona Maciver
Department for Education and Children Services
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Sandwick Road

Tel: 01851 822 729

Social and Community Services Department

The Social and Community Services Department operate grant schemes which can support cultural activity. Please refer to Leisure and Learning Grants for full details.

Business Gateway

Business Gateway can offer support to arts and cultural businesses based in the Outer Hebrides via a range of schemes including:

Outer Hebrides Youth Entrepreneurship Fund Scheme - a new grant scheme expected to run until March 2019. It is open to all young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 40 wishing to set up a new business venture based in the Outer Hebrides. The following funding streams are available;

  1. Funding to allow Youth Entrepreneurs to test out a new business idea to establish whether it will work before taking the next step to start the business – up to £500 and up to 100% of eligible costs.
  2. Funding to allow young entrepreneurs to set up a new business venture. The funding can be used towards capital, marketing, e-commerce enablement and revenue costs – up to £3000 and up to 75% of eligible costs (up to a maximum of 25% of revenue costs).

For full details please contact or refer to Business Gateway Assistance Available.