Plans to publish the first national daily newspaper in the Welsh language have been scrapped.
Y Byd – The World – was due to be launched next month. But Dyddiol Cyf, the company behind the newspaper, said there was insufficient funding for the project to continue.
Ned Thomas, the company’s chairman, claimed the Assembly Government was not fulfilling its commitment to expanding funding and support for Welsh-language press.
But the Assembly Government responded by saying it was making ‘the single-largest commitment ever’to this sector in terms of public money.
Heritage Minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas said last week he would hand out an extra £200,000 a year over the next three years in support of the Welsh-language press. This was in addition to the £525,000 currently being spent.
His announcement followed an Assembly Government-commissioned review last month, which concluded there was no evidence a Welsh-language daily was viable.
Dyddiol Cyf’s chairman said: ‘Even though Dyddiol Cyf has not so far presented its full-business plan to the Assembly Government, it was absolutely clear to the Government that an annual grant of as little as £200,000 would be insufficient to establish a Welsh-language daily newspaper.”
Y Byd would have been based in Machynlleth, mid Wales, employing 24 full-time staff.
Thomas said the board of Dyddiol Cyf was considering a number of other positive ideas which could give a much-needed boost to the Welsh press.
He paid tribute to Y Byd’s editor, Aled Price, who resigned following the minister’s announcement.