Do not cut funding for Cornish language development, UK government is told

English-Cornish bilingual sign.
English-Cornish bilingual sign. Author: Jaggery /
More than 5,000 people and over 30 MPs are asking the UK government to continue providing annual financial support for Cornish language development. Demands come after the Department of Communities and Local Government told the Cornwall Council in a letter that it was not providing any further funding for the language.

UK government funding for Cornish had reached up to £ 150,000 a year. But London argues that since last year, Cornwall has more resources of its own after an agreement extending the powers of the Council entered into force.

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture Julian German said "the decision not to support Cornish with any funding whatsoever goes against the international agreements they [the UK government] have signed up to and that makes no sense at all." German refers to legal instruments such as the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages, which has been ratified by the UK and gives protection to Cornish. German further said that the use of Cornish had increased over the last five years.

A petition has been started in the official website of the UK Parliament so that the funding cut be reversed. When this article was written, the petition had collected nearly 5,700 signatures. If it reaches 10,000, the government will need to respond to the petition.

Meanwhile, SNP MP Angus MacNeil has filed an early day motion requesting support for all the Celtic languages and for "most vulnerable" Cornish in particular. More than 30 MPs have lent support to the motion, mostly SNP members, but also Labour, Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru members.