A Plaid Cymru Senedd candidate has backed the sale of a centre for the Welsh language.
Wiliam Rees, who is standing for the party in Cardiff Central, has said he supports the move by the trustees of the historic Tŷ’r Cymry building, in the Roath area of the capital.
The decision to sell the premises, on Gordon Road, which was given to Cardiff Welsh speakers in 1936 by Lewis Williams, a farmer from the Vale of Glamorgan, in order to promote the Welsh language and constitutional status for Wales, has been criticised by language campaigners Cymdeithas yr Iaith.
The trustees of Tŷ’r Cymry say they recognize the cultural importance of the building but that it has fallen into disrepair, and there is no longer enough financial support available to continue running it.
Cymdeithas have said they cannot understand the decision by the managers to reject revamp plans and decide to sell it instead.
But Wiliam Rees has said that the owners are right to sell the building and that a centre should be set up at more appropriate location in the city, CJS News reported.
He said: “People need to consider the practicality of Ty’r Cymry’s location. Selling the building will give Tŷ’r Cymry more money in order to invest that money in a more practical location elsewhere in Cardiff.”
Steve Blundell, Chair of the local branch of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said: “It is extremely disappointing that those who are currently managing the building are intent on selling it off. We just cannot understand it.
“An enthusiastic group has been meeting for months to develop plans to restore the house, inviting the current committee to engage.
“We organised a well-attended public event, and there was clear consensus at the meeting that Tŷ’r Cymry should continue and that a new group should be given the opportunity to maximise its potential. Surely they should be given a chance to give the place a new lease of life?
“There is no doubt that the number of Welsh-medium social settings in Cardiff has decreased over recent years. The value of such spaces is far greater than just their monetary value.
“We will continue to fight to protect and rejuvenate this valuable resource for the Welsh language, especially one with such an inspiring history.”
The building has been home to a number of organizations over the years, including Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru (UCAC), the Urdd, Plaid Cymru, Cymdeithas yr Iaith and Cylch Meithrin Tŷ’r Cymry.