Members of Neath Port Talbot Council have adopted a revised Welsh Language Promotion Strategy to ensure that by 2028 Welsh is much more audible and visible in local communities and used by more people in their daily lives.
According to the 2021 Census, around 13.5% of people over the age of three in Neath Port Talbot can speak Welsh – a decrease from the 2011 census when the percentage was 15.3% (a picture reflected across most of Wales).
The upper Swansea Valley and Amman Valley, with wards such as GwaunCae-Gurwen and Lower Brynamman and Cwmllynfell and Ystalyfera, continue to be the areas in the county borough with the highest percentage of Welsh speakers.
The revised five-year strategy to increase use of the language – adopted by a meeting of the full council on Wednesday, July 12th, 2023 – builds on the first Neath Port Talbot Welsh Language Promotion Strategy launched in 2018.
The 2023-28 strategy document contains the following inspirational quote from Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien: ”Welsh is of this soil, this island, the senior language of the men of Britain; and Welsh is beautiful.”
Setting out the theme of the strategy, the document says: “Welsh is more than just the language; it is part of our being, our heritage and culture. It is woven into the fabric of our lives – even if not instantly recognisable; our place names, forenames, colloquialisms, all are rooted in the Welsh language.
“Our Culture and Heritage Strategy – currently being developed – will further address these links.”
A wide range of potential actions to increase the use of Welsh across Neath Port Talbot include:
- Promoting the benefits of bilingualism/language awareness to young families and all new comers into NPT
- Providing homework support to pupils of non-Welsh speaking families attending Welsh medium schools
- Exploring reasons for limited take up/access to Welsh language courses/education amongst specific communities
- Providing language awareness and training courses for teaching and non-teaching staff.
- Supporting and promoting the use of Welsh in social settings and in workplaces.
- Working with partners to increase the visibility of Welsh across leisure, business and cultural locations, activities and events.
As well as listening to residents via public consultation on the revised strategy the council has used a wide range of information to develop the strategy with partners to make Welsh more widely seen and heard in all of Neath Port Talbot’s communities.
The council is fully supportive of the Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 Strategy, published originally in 2017 and recently updated, which illustrates the Welsh Government’s vision to see the Welsh language thrive by achieving a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
View the strategy here: https://democracy.npt.gov.uk/documents/s91741/Welsh%20Lang%20Promotion%20Strategy.pdf