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National Eisteddfod boost to Welsh language in the Vale – First Minister

"The National Eisteddfod coming to the Vale of Glamorgan will be a huge boost to the Welsh language in the area", First Minister Carwyn Jones has said as the county prepares to host one of the largest festivals of competitive music and poetry in Europe.
Friday 03 August 2012

The eight day event is being held in area for the first time in 43 years when Barry hosted the Eisteddfod in 1968.  The event has close historical links to the Vale of Glamorgan. The founder of the Gorsedd of the Bards, Iolo Morgannwg - the bardic name of William Edwards - was born near Rhoose, and was brought up in Flemingston, near St Athan.

The Welsh Government is providing £506,400 of financial support for this year’s Eisteddfod. A number of Welsh Government Ministers will be visiting the Maes during the Eistedffod and the First Minister will be honoured by the Gorsedd of the Bards.

The First Minister said:

"The Vale of Glamorgan has important cultural and historical links with both the Eisteddfod and the Welsh language. The National Eisteddfod is an important event for us as a nation. It’s one our finest arts and cultural festivals, and provides us with an opportunity to celebrate our culture, our heritage, and our language. The fact the National Eisteddfod is being held in the Vale will be a huge boost to the Welsh language in the area.

"The Welsh language is an important and defining characteristic of Wales. It belongs to all the people of Wales – Welsh speakers and non-Welsh speakers alike.

"The Vale has seen a substantial increase in the number of Welsh speakers in recent years. This is largely due to the Welsh-medium education. For example, the percentage of seven year olds in Welsh-medium education in the Vale has risen from 10.9% in 2001 to 13.7% in 2011.  There are now five Welsh-medium primary schools and one secondary school in the Vale.  These include the two Welsh-medium  primary schools in Llantwit Major and Barry which opened in September 2011.  

"The challenge, however, is to go one step further and provide opportunities for children and young people to enjoy using Welsh outside school. Earlier this year, we launched our new Welsh language strategy – ‘A living language: a language for living’. It focuses on helping people to use Welsh in everyday life, including through new technology and social media. The future development and survival of the language will need fresh ideas and must be owned by each and every one of us in Wales.

"I wish this year’s Eisteddfod every success, and thank all those who have worked so hard to bring the Eisteddfod back to the Vale."



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First Minister 03 August 2012 Programme for Government - Culture and Heritage Welsh language South East Wales

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