Cornish MPs fight to revitalise Cornish language


By Emily Furness

 Cornish MPs fight to support the Cornish language despite its annual £150,000 funding being stopped.

 The majority of Cornish MPs took their oath in Cornish and are disappointed at the Department of Communities and Local Government’s decision to stop all finding for the Cornish language, since it was recognised as a regional and minority language in 2003.

Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth, said: “I took my oath of allegiance in Cornish as I had been asked to do so by some of my constituents and as I knew it meant a lot to them, I was pleased to do so.”

Cornish MPs such as Sarah Newton bid to keep funding for the minority language.

Newton, added: “I am disappointed that the bid was unsuccessful on this occasion…. I will continue to work with my colleagues and Cornwall Council to ensure that the Cornish language as well as Cornish culture and history continues to flourish.”

There are only 300-500 fluent Cornish language speakers in Cornwall. However, there are a larger number of people with some Cornish and who are learning.

Over 1,000 people have subscribed to the online course “Say Something in Cornish,” run by the Cornish language partnership, Maga.

Mark Trevethan, Head of the Cornish Language Unit, Cornwall Council said: “Official backing and funding for the language over the last 10 years has made a massive difference to increasing visibility of the language, changing perceptions of the language, creating resources to make it easier to study Cornish.”

George Eustice, MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle also took his oath in Cornish and is looking to find alternative ways to fund the language since the cuts.

Eustice said: “I will be exploring alternative sources of government funding to support the wider development of Cornwall’s culture and heritage through the new Kresen Kernow centre in Redruth, this could include providing support for the Cornish language.”

MPs of Cornwall are working with the Cornish language, community and representative organisations such as the Gorseth, to develop a strategy on how to safeguard and grow the Cornish language in the future.

Words: 350

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