£2.4m of Covid recovery funding ploughed into boosting Welsh language
Work to support Welsh language skills and use will receive £2.4m in Covid recovery funding, the Welsh Government has announced.
The money will support school-level late immersion Welsh learners and Welsh language skills development to help keep Wales on its route to doubling the daily use of Welsh by 2050.
The National Eisteddfod will also receive £200k as Wales looks forward to welcoming the return of the festival in 2022.
Immersion learning helps pupils whose Welsh may not have been part of their daily routine, or who may not have Welsh language skills, to use it in their day-to-day learning.
With many families moving to Wales and looking to place older children in Welsh-medium education, there’s now more pressure on immersion services to give them the support they need so they can confidently move into learning through Welsh.
The funding will also support pupils at Welsh-medium schools who, during the pandemic, lost the opportunity to use their Welsh every day, and had limited or no contact with the language because of the disruption caused.
Expanding the late immersion programme is one of the commitments outlined in the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government. It is part of the plan to increase the number of learners educated through the medium of Welsh.
The one-off funding of £200k for the National Eisteddfod will help the festival rebuild staffing levels following the pandemic.
As well as helping the Eisteddfod to increase staff, the funding will also contribute to a pilot which will set up a network of Culture Ambassadors, to help community and social inclusion in areas in which the annual event takes place.
Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, said: “To help achieve the goals we’ve outlined in our Cymraeg 2050 strategy in the light of the pandemic, we need to ensure we support key organisations working to increase the use of our language.
“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to give recovery funding for late immersion learning and to the National Eisteddfod. These are both crucial parts of our plans to help more of us to learn and use Welsh.
“I’m also glad to see the results of the Welsh Language Use Survey for 2019-20. These give us one useful, quantitative insight into how we use Welsh in Wales.
“While there are positive trends within the data and they deserve celebrating, as we continue to implement Cymraeg 2050, we’ll be looking at all the statistics and research sources available to us to make sure we base our work on evidence, and that the evidence helps us know what’s working or not.
“The funding we’ve announced today is part of our strategy for increasing Welsh language use across Wales during the next thirty or so years. I firmly believe that Welsh belongs to us all, and I’m determined to help more and more of us learn and use our language.”