City regions to stem Welsh decline - report

Census 2011 graphic The last census recorded a drop in the number of Welsh speakers in Wales

Related Stories

Bangor, Aberystwyth and Carmarthen should become "city regions" where economic regeneration goes hand-in-hand with growth in the use of Welsh.

This is recommended by a group set up by the Welsh government to look at stemming the language's decline in its heartlands.

Ministers should also look at planning decisions' impact on Welsh, they say.

Children in Anglesey, Gwynedd, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire should also be educated bilingually.

The special group was set up after the results of the 2011 census identified a drop in the number of Welsh speakers in Wales. In two heartland counties - Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion - the language had become a minority.


  • 19% of the Welsh population aged over three said they were able to speak the language
  • Able to speak Welsh: 562,016 Not able to speak Welsh: 2,393,825
  • Gwynedd has the highest percentage of residents aged three or over who said they can speak, read and write in Welsh (65,900 people, 56%)
  • In Carmarthenshire, 43.9% of the population aged over three said they could speak Welsh in 2011, down from 50.3% in 2001 and 54.9% in 1991
  • In Ceredigion it was 47.3% in 2011, down from 52% in 2001
  • Source: Census 2011/ONS
  • Census 2011: Key Welsh data

The task and finish group's recommendations will now be considered by ministers.

The seven recommendations are:

  • To promote the development of Bangor, Aberystwyth and Carmarthen as city regions.
  • Improve the impact of Welsh government policies on the Welsh language using impact assessments through TAN20 - which provides guidance on how Welsh language issues should be considered by planners - and other relevant guidance.
  • Make education provision for 3-14 year olds consistent across Anglesey, Gwynedd, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire so that all pupils become fluent and confident in both Welsh and English.
  • By improving access to Welsh-medium provision ensure that an ethos is created along with programmes to promote social and informal use of Welsh in collaboration with schools and communities.
  • Continue to encourage people to take part in activities and socialise in Welsh by supporting organisations and societies and by initiating new initiatives.
  • Agree targets to extend the bilingual workforce and bilingual operations with relevant agencies
  • Extend the Aman Tawe pilot scheme - encouraging community and local business use of Welsh - to other areas which have witnessed a clear linguistic shift in recent years.

The proposals will now be considered by ministers.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Wales stories


Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage

  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world

  • Jon Sopel'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead

  • Beauty contestants use selfie stick7 days quiz

    Who hasn't banned selfie sticks yet?

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show


  • A robotClick Watch

    The latest in robotics including software that can design electronics to solve problems

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.