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Written Statement - Publication of a Policy Statement on the Welsh Language, A living language: a language for living – Moving Forward

Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales

On 17 June I published a draft policy statement on the Welsh language, A living language: a language for living – Moving Forward, inviting comments on the content of the document. I’m grateful for the comments we received on the documents, and I am pleased to publish the final version of Moving Forward today.

Moving Forward sets out our focus over the next three years as we continue to implement our Strategy, A living language: a language for living. It contains four themes for our focus for the next three years:

1. The need to strengthen the links between the economy and the Welsh language.

2. The need for better strategic planning for the Welsh language.

3. The use of Welsh in the community.

4. The challenge of changing linguistic behaviour.

When I published the draft statement, I announced investment of £1.6 million over two years to support the policy. That includes £400k to support the link between the economy and the Welsh language and £1.2 million to support the work of promoting the use of Welsh in the community.

In addition to the above, I am pleased to announce today that we intend to provide an investment fund that can be used develop and support the opening of new centres and learning spaces that will promote the use of Welsh or immersion in Welsh. The funding of £1.25 million will be channelled through local authorities, colleges and universities who can demonstrate an innovative approach and an emphasis of working in partnership with others for the benefit of the wider community. This funding will help kick-start strategic projects to help deliver this policy agenda with an emphasis on providing the basis for community projects to become self-sustaining.

I am also today launching a new brand called ‘y llais’ (‘the voice’) which will be used on all Welsh Government activity to support the Welsh language, and we will encourage businesses and our partners to use it as well. The brand will be used for the first time as part of a new campaign to promote Welsh called ‘Pethau Bychain’. The aim of the campaign is to encourage people to make small changes in order to increase their use of Welsh every day.

There is not a single answer or simple solution to ensuring a thriving future for the Welsh language. However, we believe that through the interventions outlined in Moving Forward that we can make a difference.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.