On November 26th Mentrau Iaith Cymru publishes “Welsh, the community and the local economy”, the Mentrau Iaith’s Manifesto for the Welsh Parliament’s 2021 election.
The document’s aim is to present proposals for the political parties to consider during the run up to the Welsh Parliament’s election in 2021. It sets out the network’s point of view regarding the Welsh Language, the community and the local economy along with the Mentrau Iaith’s network’s recent statistics. The report also contains examples of some of the Mentrau Iaith’s community and commercial projects that contribute towards increasing the use of the Welsh language to form prosperous communities and to develop the local economy.
You can download the full document here:
The document was created by Mentrau Iaith Cymru, a national organisation that supports the network of 22 local Mentrau Iaith. The document was presented to the Mentrau Iaith network staff by Mentrau Iaith Cymru’s Chair, Lowri Jones, in a digital session on November 16th, 2020.
Lowri Jones says;
“Producing and presenting the document is an important step forward and is the first time that we as a network have introduced proposals in this way across topics relevant to our diverse work. The document focuses on the clear link between the Welsh language, the community and the economy – themes that are integral to the work of the Mentrau Iaith. It is a very valuable opportunity to bring together some of our biggest ideas, demands, and priorities to present them in a concise and effective way to a variety of political parties.”
Calls to politicians and ministers include investing in developing the Welsh language in the digital technology sector, extending Welsh language standards, collaborating on Tackling Poverty schemes and creating a network of Social Enterprise Officers to establish Welsh-medium workplaces.
In the last financial year, the Mentrau Iaith received a total of £2.5million as part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Hybu a Hyrwyddo’r defnydd o’r Gymraeg‘ grant. The network, through social enterprises, businesses and other projects, attracted over £4 million on top of Government grants and generated a total turnover of nearly £7million in 2019/20. 72% of Mentrau Iaith’s workforce are funded from sources other than the Welsh Government grant with 254 individuals employed on projects beyond the ‘Hybu a Hyrwyddo’r defnydd o’r Gymraeg‘ grant work. One of the key priorities in the document is to increase each individual Menter Iaith’s minimum grant to £100,000 a year plus annual inflation costs.
“There is incredible work going on to draw in those sources so that we are not overly dependent on one grant, and ensures our work is very diverse and touches on many aspects of community life. The statistics demonstrate the value for money we offer the Welsh Government and the potential to draw more funding into our communities and invest in services for them.”
During the period April to September 2020 the network held over 6,800 digital events with over 750,000 participating in the Mentrau Iaith’s digital activities. Lowri Jones would like to thank all the network’s staff for their work during this time.
“These statistics are astonishing at such a challenging time, and a time when we needed to change our ways of working very quickly and respond to a constantly changing situation. A big thank you to our officers for all your work.”