In a special workshop held in Caernarfon on June 28th, there will be an opportunity to discuss the role of the Welsh language in community ownership initiatives and how it can strengthen the country’s economy. Some of the Mentrau Iaith in Wales are leading the way in supporting the Welsh language and economy by establishing new community ventures and therefore Mentrau Iaith Cymru is proud to be part of this project and event.
As part of the Marchnad Lafur Cymraeg project (Welsh Labour Market) that aims to promote engagement between sectors and companies that have the potential to develop services and products where the linguistic skills of the Welsh language are essential, the event’s aim is to better understand the needs of the Community Ownership sector and consider the value of the Welsh language to it and how to develop it further.
This is a first step in establishing a Community Ownership sector by giving the project an opportunity to listen to and consider the sector’s needs.
According to Rhun Dafydd of Four Cymru, who is leading the project, the aim is to have a constructive debate about how the Welsh language can be used as an effective economic lever,
“We see the potential to establish a cluster of social enterprises that see value in the Welsh language as a means of regenerating the communities by offering services and employment opportunities for their local population.
“This event will be an opportunity for social enterprises to learn more about the sector as case studies are demonstrated and representatives from the sector organisations take part in the various sessions. It is also a chance for them to come together to network and share good practice of using Welsh as an asset to their business. “
For Meirion Davies of Mentrau Iaith Cymru, one of the project’s partners, this is another opportunity to highlight the language’s potential within the business sector,
“In considering the aims of the project we have tried to look at clusters where we can use Welsh as a catalyst to strengthen the economy within our communities. One cluster is already looking at how nurseries can be developed to be viable business models and this event next week will look at the potential of community enterprises.
“Many community enterprises already use Welsh as part of their daily operations and this is evidence that it is possible to develop language and economy in tandem with the social, environmental ac economic elements that are core to running an enterprise.”
“Creating more Welsh-medium work is crucial to help achieve the aim of the Welsh Government’s 2050 Welsh Language Strategy to create a million Welsh speakers. The economic footprint of the Welsh language must be increased as we are losing too many young Welsh speakers because of lack of work opportunities and opportunities to work through the medium of Welsh. The event will make clear recommendations to the Government as to move forward in this area. “
Meirion, chief executive of Menter Iaith Conwy, will also present the work of the local initiative during the event. Menter Iaith Conwy is doing a lot of work for the language and economy in the area and has succeeded in establishing many social enterprises including a nursery and outdoor sector enterprise.
In addition, Menter Bro Dinefwr’s Chief Officer, Owain Gruffydd will present how the Menter recently received a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to regenerate Llandeilo Town Hall as a multi-purpose center as part of an asset transfer scheme.
The event is held at Y Galeri, Caernarfon on Thursday, 28 June – to register email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://four.cymru/cy/news/ for further information. The event will be held through the medium of Welsh but simultaneous translation will be available if requested.
This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.