Press Releases 2014-2015

University of Wales Trinity Saint David to establish a Welsh Centre in Carmarthen

03.12.2014

In a statement during his visit to Carmarthenshire today (December 3rd), The First Minister, Carwyn Jones announced that an application for a grant by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) to establish a Welsh centre in Carmarthen has been successful.

The funding, part of the Capital Investment Fund - a fund which was announced at the National Eisteddfod of Wales to support the Welsh Government’s policy, Bwrw Mlaen - has enabled the University to purchase a building in the town with the aim of transforming it into a community centre to promote the Welsh language in the area.

The fund aims to develop new centres and learning spaces to promote the use of the Welsh Language by enabling local authorities, colleges and universities to work with community partners to develop dynamic centres to enable people to learn or practice their Welsh.

"The University is delighted with this news," says Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor of the University. "Not only does it offer the University a presence in Carmarthen town centre but it also provides an opportunity for all Welsh organisations and societies in the area to come together to create a vibrant Welsh community. Our hope is that the whole town can be seen to be supporting the development."

Gwilym Dyfri Jones, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor at UWTSD and the person leading the application on behalf of the University, says that the centre’s main aim is to develop a bilingual Carmarthen and to ensure that the Welsh language is more visible and audible around the town.

"It is the intention of the University to work closely with a range of partners including Carmarthenshire County Council, Coleg Sir Gâr, Menter Gorllewin Sir Gâr, Carmarthen Town Council, the Urdd as well as other local business and relevant organisations to transform Carmarthen’s image and to develop the town as a ‘growth’ town for the Welsh language as they did in Galway, Ireland in terms of the Gaelic language," adds Gwilym Dyfri Jones.

"The University is particularly keen to work with the business community in the town so we can offer a language planning service and show businesses how they can

increase their service / bilingual workforce in a practical way and through realistic planning and actions," he continues.

The hope is that the University’s Welsh Centre will officially open in March 2015, about a month after the relevant construction and interior decoration is complete. It is hoped that the centre will offer a range of services to promote the Welsh language in the town including:

  • providing language courses for parents of the town’s schools and nurseries during school hours;
  • providing parenting plan (including Welsh sessions of Cymraeg o’r Crud / Welsh from the Cradle);
  • providing Welsh for the Family courses;
  • providing resources for families to hold birthday parties in a Welsh environment;
  • working closely with the Local Authority and local schools to support the county programme for those who’ve moved into the area;
  • providing a full programme of Welsh for Adults in a welcoming and friendly environment, both during the day and during the evening;
  • acting as a community education centre where Welsh medium widening access courses can be provided in areas such as art, photography and information technology;
  • creating a home for the campaign to develop bilingualism amongst the town’s businesses prior to the opening of the S4C Centre: Yr Egin in 2018 by providing language and language awareness courses in addition to the Welsh for Adults provision;
  • acting as a shop window for the Welsh language across all age ranges and social backgrounds;
  • providing incubator units for those wishing to start-up businesses who operate in Welsh;
  • acting as a meeting place for committees or associations who are associated with the Welsh language and culture within the town;
  • acting as a home for a Welsh medium Youth Club in the town;
  • providing rooms that can be hired by individuals or groups / associations for events held through the medium of Welsh;
  • to be the home of an initiative for retired adults by providing a range of Welsh-medium activities including computing, fitness, local history, genealogy etc.

"It’s the University’s wish that the centre develops a focus for the Welsh language in Carmarthen and that its presence will have a positive impact on other organisations and businesses within the town," says Gwilym Dyfri Jones.

"This development comes at an exciting time for the Welsh language in Carmarthenshire following the decision by the S4C Authority to relocate the channels’ Headquarters to Carmarthen; the publication of the Council’s Welsh Language Strategy and the huge success of the National Eisteddfod in Carmarthenshire last August. This is a unique opportunity to raise the status of the Welsh language in the town and to ensure that more and more residents - especially young people - use the language in a variety of social situations."

The University will organise a public meeting in January where representatives will share the vision of the development with residents of the town and with those interested in using the centre in the future. Details regarding this event will be announced early in the new year.

Note to Editor

  1. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University
  2. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University
  3. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014

Further Information

For more information please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Senior PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676908 / sian-elin.davies@tsd.uwtsd.ac.uk / 07449 998476