Acair Ltd, the Gaelic book publishing company based in Stornoway, is the Gaelic Business of the Year 2012.
The competition, which is run by Comunn na Gàidhlig (CnaG) with support from Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE), recognizes the commendable work which many companies do in their own sector whilst doing it through the medium of Gaelic. As well as acknowledging the excellent work being undertaken by many businesses in keeping Gaelic to the forefront of all that they do, it is hoped that the competition will also encourage other businesses to strive to do more through the medium of Gaelic.
Acair is a limited company, which was formed in Stornoway in 1976 to provide resources for a new bilingual project. That work continued and expanded when Gaelic Medium Education was introduced in the mid 80s. To this day they still publish and sell Gaelic books, particularly for children, and they aim to create new, attractive and interesting books that people will find appealing and that will also help them to learn Gaelic. As part of their efforts in selling their books, they have been making effective use of websites and social media to boost the industry and also to promote Gaelic on the internet.
The submissions to this year’s competition were assessed and evaluated by a panel of representatives from CnaG, HIE and Bòrd na Gàidhlig and they agreed unanimously that Acair was the winner of the Gaelic Business of the Year 2012 and the monetary prize of £3,000 that goes along with the title. The Panel was encouraged by the way in which Gaelic was at the heart of all that Acair do within the office, dealing with customers in the shop, but particularly how they used new technology to promote the image of Gaelic amongst young people and learners of the language. The award for Gaelic Business of the Year 2012 was presented to Acair by Alasdair Allan MSP, Government Minister for Learning, Skills and Scotland's Languages, in Stornoway earlier today.
Dr. Allan said, “I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to present Acair with recognition of their achievements. This award highlights the work that companies do to support Gaelic in everyday life and in the workplace, and we need to ensure these opportunities for Gaels to use the language are maintained.”
Agnes Rennie, Acair Manager said, ‘‘Acair’s Board and staff are delighted to receive the award for this year. We appreciate that it is not only this year’s work which has enabled us to win this award, but the diligence of the many people who have been involved with Acair in different ways over the last few years. It is a pleasure working with writers and photographers to create beautiful books of many different genres, and there are still more to come!
In addition to the award to the winner, awards were also made to the businesses which the panel placed in second and third place. In second place earning a prize of £1,500 was Comunn Eachdraidh Nis, Lewis, and in third place with a prize of £500, Seallam, Northton, Harris.
Donald MacNeil, Chief Executive of CnaG said, ‘’I am extremely pleased with the submissions we received for this year’s competition. The competition has been running for 3 years now and looking back over these 3 years we can see the vast range of businesses that are involved in praiseworthy work, using Gaelic to their own benefit and to the benefit of the language. It is important for Gaelic that it is used and seen in every part of people’s daily life, and businesses are at the heart of that.
"I would like to extend our thanks to Highlands & Islands Enterprise for their support in enabling us to run this competition"