Lib Dems urge Conservatives to agree to Cornish language funding


Cornish Liberal Democrats have urged Conservative Ministers in the Coalition Government to agree to vital funding for MAGA, the Cornish Language Partnership.

In March 2014 Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Liberal Democrat Communities Minister Stephen Williams announced £120,000 of government funding for MAGA, the Cornish Language Partnership, to help the body promote and develop the Cornish language. This was followed by the announcement of National Minority Status to the Cornish, a move pushed through by Liberal Democrats in the face of Tory opposition.

The Cornish Language Partnership brings together a range of voluntary organisations and statutory bodies and established an office and dedicated staff for the language for the first time in 2005. The organisation works with schools, businesses and community groups, produces resources, oversees work on the language itself and promotes Cornish widely at home and through Europe.

But there are fears that the Partnership may have to close at the end of March unless a new round of funding is found.

Commenting, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for South East Cornwall, Phil Hutty said:

“We all know that the Conservatives don’t understand the value of recognising and promoting Cornwall’s unique culture and heritage, having previously called for the campaign for a Cornish Assembly to be ditched and after trying their best to stop the Coalition Government granting National Minority Status to Cornwall.

“However, Conservative government ministers need to realise that there will be devastating consequences for the promotion and protection of the Cornish language unless they agree to Lib Dem calls to continue to provide funding for the Cornish Language Partnership.

“Liberal Democrats want to make sure that we support Cornish traditions, culture and heritage which we forget at our peril, as well helping local people to develop and use our language to promote local jobs, businesses and to help the Cornish economy.”

North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson added:

“We have been pushing to make sure that the Government continues to meet its responsibilities under Council of Europe’s Charter for Regional or Minority Languages to promote and safeguard Kernewek.

“Last year Lib Dems secured £120,000 to fund the Cornish Language Partnership during 2014/15 - but we need to stop the Conservatives dragging their heels so that the Coalition Government can go ahead with our plans to secure vital funding for the Cornish language for the coming year.”

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