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05/07/2005

Cànan wins award at Highlands and Islands Business Awards 2005

Skye based media company Cànan was one of eight companies presented with an award at the prestigious Highlands and Islands Business Awards 2005.
The awards, sponsored by Ernst and Young, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, LifeScan and the Press and Journal, were presented by former Prime Minister Sir John Major at a ceremony at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness.
Cànan received the award in recognition of the turnaround and growth shown by the company, which in the past year saw its partnership with Napier University receive a UK award for innovation; has beaten competition from much larger companies to win major contracts; and is a pioneer, from a European perspective, in developing on-line language learning products.
Cànan, which was set up in 1992, by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, to support the growing Gaelic television industry, now provides multimedia, graphic and software design; language; and enterprise services and employs ten people in high-quality jobs, from its south Skye base.
Clients in the last two years include: Learning and Teaching Scotland, learndirect Scotland, UHI Millennium Institute, NHS Highland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Gaelic Media Services and a wide range of private businesses. Cànan has also worked, in partnership, with organisations in Scotland, the Island of Ireland, Italy and the Czech Republic to produce innovative language products.
2001 was a turning point for Cànan. Previously, the company had been almost solely producing Gaelic educational materials which although worthwhile and important, struggled to sustain a business. In 2001, Cànan set up a trading company to enable it to actively seek commercial work and with the support of the Bank of Scotland and Skye and Lochalsh Enterprise, developed its own multimedia department. This enabled Cànan to keep lucrative work previously outsourced, and, integrating with Cànan’s other services, to offer the client a complete package. The company has grown significantly and now, as well as working for clients, is developing its own software products.
In London in December 2004, Cànan’s innovation was recognised when its partnership with Napier University received an award for being the best Knowledge Transfer Partnership in Scotland and one of the top eight in the UK.
Donella Beaton, Cànan’s Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to win this most recent award, which reflects the skill and commitment shown by the Cànan staff and Board and the support of our clients and suppliers. We were set up to support Gaelic development and that is still our reason for being, but we cannot sustain 10 full-time jobs on goodwill. Cànan has shown that a dynamic business, with the right support and a blend of innovation and hard work, can thrive in a rural location and we hope – and will do our best to ensure - will continue to do so in the future.”
While continuing to offer design, enterprise and language services, Cànan seeks to further develop its software and multimedia services and products, addressing particular needs and opportunities in education and language learning, worldwide.
(GB)
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