Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Communities Minister Stephen Williams today (13 March 2015) announced that the government is investing an extra £150,000 to help promote and develop the Cornish language.
The Cornish language is the only language in England recognised under the Council of Europe’s Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
Recognising this unique status, the government has provided over £500,000 since 2010 to the Cornish Language Partnership to help the language grow.
The new £150,000 funding from the government will extend this support for another year and will sit alongside money from local partners to help promote Cornish.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
I’m delighted to have secured additional funding to preserve the Cornish language. When visiting on St Piran’s day it was clear to me that language is central to Cornwall’s heritage. I am determined to keep it alive and thriving.
After Celtic conversations died out in the nineteenth century, great efforts have been made to revive and return Cornish to common use. It would be a crime to let such a distinct language disappear again.
I’m proud to say the funding I pushed for will continue to ensure Cornish is spoken and heard across the county for generations to come. Capitalising on the culture which makes Cornwall unique will also bring more visitors to the region and in turn boost Cornwall’s economy, building a stronger economy and fairer society.
Communities Minister Stephen Williams said:
Cornish people are rightly proud of their Celtic language and this government recognises just how important it is to Cornish identity.
That’s why over the past 5 years my department has helped keep Cornish alive by providing more than £500,000 to the Cornish Language Partnership to develop and promote Cornish. This new £150,000 boost is a further demonstration of our commitment to Cornwall.
In April 2014 the government formally recognised the distinct identity of Cornish people by granting them minority status under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
This affords Cornish people the same status as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.