Following a meeting held today, (Thursday 9 August 2018) at the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff, the Welsh Government and S4C have announced an agreement on the principles of working together to support the Welsh language, with the aim of increasing the number of Welsh speakers.
The Welsh Government’s strategic aim for the Welsh language is to increase the number of Welsh speakers to one million by the year 2050 and to increase the overall use of the language. As the only Welsh language television broadcaster and the body responsible for commissioning the most hours of content through the medium of Welsh, S4C offers its audience a chance to use, enjoy and hear the Welsh language from day-to-day.
Working together, the aim is to deliver benefits to the Welsh language and to those who speak and learn it, to share expertise, reach new audiences and to make the most of investments in projects that involve the Welsh language.
The Welsh Government and S4C have agreed to prioritise common strategic areas – which are to support learners, education, and children and young people. Technology and working together to ensure a place for the Welsh language on platforms and future technology are also areas which may benefit from S4C’s content and expertise. To deliver in these high priority areas officers will regularly share information, research and networks in order to identify new opportunities.
Owen Evans, S4C Chief Executive, said:
“Working together will offer opportunities to share information and ensure the use of the Welsh language in our society. It also offers the chance for S4C to work with expert partners who already work on the language with the Welsh Government. We’re proud that we are already developing our relationship with two such bodies, The National Centre for Learning Welsh and Mudiad Meithrin.”
Eluned Morgan, AM, Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning said:
“I’m so pleased to announce this agreement with S4C today. I welcome the emphasis given in the review on the importance of S4C on the journey to reach our goal of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
“Working with establishments across Wales is crucial to help us reach this goal. By sharing experience from Welsh language policy, language acquisition and language technology, we will be contributing to the creation of a place where it’s easy for people to gain confidence in speaking Welsh, where more people become fluent in the language.
“I’ve committed to continue to work with S4C to fulfil our aspirations for the language.”
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:
“The UK Government is committed to the Welsh language and Welsh language broadcasting. Following the independent review published by DCMS earlier this year, I'm delighted that S4C and the Welsh Government have a plan to grow and diversify the number of Welsh speakers.
“Events such as this year’s National Eisteddfod are a perfect platform to launch initiatives like this, providing an open and inclusive space to reach new audiences and engage more people in learning the language and viewing Welsh content.”
The partnership is in place from today.
‘Building an S4C for the Future’, an independent review of work remit, governance and funding, undertaken by Euryn Ogwen Williams for the UK Department of Digital, Culture Media & Sport, was published on 29 March 2018.
Recommendation 3 of the review is: S4C should establish a language partnership with the Welsh Government and others to help deliver the Welsh Government’s commitment to reach one million Welsh language speakers by 2050.
S4C offers the chance to use, enjoy and hear the Welsh language on a range of platforms. With Services like Cyw for young children, Stwnsh for older children, the online brand Hansh, content for learners, dramas that sell internationally, entertainment, factual programmes and sport to suit everybody’s taste, S4C’s services reach a wide audience.
The Welsh Government
Cymraeg 2050 focuses on three themes:
1. Increase the number of Welsh speakers
2. Increase the use of the Welsh language
3. Create favourable conditions – infrastructure and context