Drive to preserve England’s only official minority language

A drive to preserve England’s only official minority language has been given a major boost .

New government funding will help to to preserve the culture, language and heritage of Cornwall, the most westerly part of England.

Communities Minister Lord Bourne announced the new fund worth over 250,000 U.S. dollars to help support and preserve Cornwall’s rich language, heritage and culture.

The funding will help provide Cornish language education for adults and young people, tackle barriers to education around the traditions and heritage of Cornwall, and provide media and technology opportunities for learners and speakers of Cornish.

Speaking Friday at the UK National Minority Summit, Bourne said: “As England’s only recognised regional or minority language, we should support the Cornish language and help it flourish for generations to come.

“Cornwall has a rich history and a distinctive identity, and it’s right that we are committed to promoting it. This new fund will help further develop projects around culture and heritage in the area.”

He said the funding is recognition of the importance of Cornish history and Cornwall’s distinct culture and heritage.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is keen to continue to work with Cornwall Council and its partners to encourage it’s further development, added Bourne.

Cornwall’s culture spokesman Bob Egerton said: “Cornwall is a unique county and we welcome the funding announcement, which will allow us to preserve, share and develop our distinct culture and identity.

“The money will be used towards the development of a Cornish language program and support the implementation of the Cornish National Minority Education Action Plan, all keys to unlocking the passion and protecting our culture for future generations.”

Cornish has been recognised as a protected minority language under the Council of Europe’s Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) since 2002.