Welsh Language Minister Alun Davies today announced that he is committing £400,000 to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to become more bilingual.
The objective of this funding is to increase visibility of the Welsh language in the community. The project will also increase understanding and maximise opportunities to strengthen bilingual customer services. The money will be allocated to establish a network of local practitioners to provide Welsh language support to businesses.
This is a commitment outlined in our recently published Welsh language strategy - Cymraeg 2050 - which aims to increase the number of Welsh speakers to a million, as well as increase the use of Welsh.
The Welsh Language Commissioner currently works with large businesses and national companies to promote and facilitate Welsh language services, including the finance sector and large supermarkets. This new network of practitioners will ensure that support is available to local SMEs and micro businesses to become more bilingual.
Alun Davies said:
“Last year the Welsh Government undertook a project in partnership with the Mentrau Iaith to trial a small scale support service for SMEs.
“The pilot scheme showed promising signs in terms of raising awareness of the benefits of using the Welsh language by providing practical, face to face support and ongoing advice to businesses.
“We are now in a position to expand the pilot work, in partnership with Mentrau Iaith Cymru, and to work with a larger number of SMEs to provide tailored support to support an increase in the Welsh language services.”
Owain Gruffudd, Chair of Mentrau Iaith Cymru said:
“The Mentrau Iaith welcome the opportunity to cooperate with the Welsh Government to promote the Welsh language amongst small and medium businesses. The Mentrau Iaith already work at grass root level across Wales – engaging with businesses will complement our work to promote the use of Welsh in our communities.”