NORTH America’s first Gaelic medium school is to open in a former convent in a $2 million investment in Scottish culture, it has been confirmed.

The facility will also host artists and a Gaelic-language radio station.

Authorities in Canada say the language, culture and identity of Scottish migrants and their descendants “need nurturing to thrive”.

Beinn Mhabu (Mabou Hill College) will operate as a satellite campus of the 82-year-old Gaelic College (Colaisde na Gaidhlig) in the country’s Nova Scotia province.

Around 15,000 Scots went to Canada in the late 1700s, most of whom settled in the area. Many were from the Gaelic-speaking Highlands and islands.

The region has its own official tartan and Saltire-style flag – a blue cross of St Andrew on a white background with a lion rampant crest.

READ MORE: A wealth of complexities: How Scots, Gaelic and English are intertwined

But while Scots took their language with them when leaving the Gaidhealtachd, community transmission in Canada has contracted since the 1920s, with fewer people passing it down through their families.

Iain Rankin, Nova Scotia’s premier, says Beinn Mhabu “builds on the significant work of Gaelic renewal” in the province as more people now work to learn the language.

Announcing the $1.92m commitment, he stated: “This investment will help in promoting, preserving and perpetuating Gaelic language, culture and identity.”

As of 2008, more than 11,000 children in Scotland were undergoing some form of education in Gaelic. Gaelic medium education is on offer in 60 primary schools and their associated secondaries across 14 of the country’s 32 local authorities.

Beinn Mhabu will be created at the former St Joseph’s Convent and Renewal Centre and offer courses in event management, music, ethnomusicology and more.

Students will receive credit recognition for courses through Cape Breton University.

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It will also be home to artists-in-residence, to North America’s first Gaelic medium school beginning at the primary level, and an internet radio station with podcasts, traditional music and student showcases.

It’s hoped that international learners will be amongst its student body.

The former convent, which was home to the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, dates back to the 1950s and it’s hoped that an events programme will make the site a year-round draw.

The region’s culture sector is valued at $929m and provides more than 13,000 jobs.

Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, minister of communities, culture and heritage, commented: “Mabou Hill College will be an invaluable addition to the cultural infrastructure of Nova Scotia and another thread in the cultural fabric that we are weaving together. This is another confident step into the future for the Gaelic College.”