23.4.16 Grand Bard condemns UK Government’s indifference to Cornish culture

GORSEDH KERNOW – The Celtic Spirit of Cornwall
Press release for immediate use issued Saturday 23rd April 2016
issued by Delia Brotherton, Gorsedh Kernow Communications Officer.

Gorsedh Kernow is appalled at the UK Government’s decision not to support the Cornish language.

Railing against the recent withdrawal of funding in support of one of Cornwall’s unique cultural assets the Grand Bard of Cornwall, Dr Merv Davey, spoke of the anger and disgust being expressed by people all across Cornwall, from fellow Celtic countries and from countless Cornish cousins overseas.

“A promise was made to the people of Cornwall and that promise has been broken,” said the Grand Bard.

“Compared to the money approved and spent on our behalf by the Government on cultural ‘trips and activities’ for the boys and girls in power at Westminster the £150K we are asking for is a comparative drop in the ocean.”

“Let’s be blunt about this. This is an ideological decision based on indifference and not a financial one based on fiscal responsibility.”

James Wharton MP, the Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse at the Department for Communities and Local Government, who rubber stamped the withdrawal of the promised funding, stated in his letter to the Leader of Cornwall Council, Cllr John Pollard that ‘As Cornwall continues to implement its Devolution Deal, I look forward to hearing more about the great progress that has been made and encourage you to work closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to ensure the continued recognition of Cornish culture.’
“The Minister obviously felt he wanted to rub a bit more salt into the wound,” said the Grand Bard, “which is particularly cruel and dismissive to Cornish people. When it comes to making such statements it seems that he is just not prepared to deliver on promises made.”

“Ironically, some of Cornwall’s representatives even took their parliamentary oaths in Cornish, but have failed to fight for the language.”

“The Cornish language is a great source of pride for Cornwall and is part of what makes Cornwall and the Cornish unique”, said fellow bard Julian German, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture.

“Over the last five years use of the language has increased and this is reflected in street names, signage and on mainstream and social media. Just as importantly, it supports our local and visitor economy as the increase in the use of the language in marketing and tourism has proved.“

The decision has also angered Malcolm Bell, Head of Visit Cornwall, who said “The Cornish language is an essential part of the Cornwall brand”.
End of press release*****************

Further notes for editors

Gorsedh Kernow exists to maintain the national Celtic Spirit of Cornwall and to give expression to such spirit, to encourage the study of Cornish history and literature, the Cornish language, to foster Cornish art, music, dance and sport and to link with other Celtic countries.

The Cornish language, Kernewek, was formally recognised by European Charter in 2002; the Cornish were given National Minority Status under the European Framework Convention in 2014; and the Devolution Deal of 2015 includes a clear commitment to cherish and promote Cornish Heritage.

For further information about Cornwall Council’s support of the Cornish language please contact Julian German, Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture on 07737 183690.

For more information about the Cornwall Devolution Deal please visit

For further information about Cornwall Council and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities please see

and https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/community-and-living/equality-and-diversity/cornish-minority-status/

For more general information about Gorsedh Kernow please contact
Delia Brotherton, Myrghwyn Melynor, Communications Officer, Gorsedh Kernow,
email communications@gorsedhkernow.org.uk
or visit the website  www.gorsedhkernow.org.uk