Welsh daily delays its planned launch

Planned Welsh language daily newspaper Y Byd (The World) has delayed its launch because essential regional selective assistance money will arrive from the government too late for March.

The ‘indicative’offer from the Cardiff civil service arrived only last week, which means the paper is now lining up for the autumn.

Until the final offer letter is received, the paper’s organisers are playing by civil service rules, and are unwilling to detail plans. An editor has been appointed – Aled Price, who has held senior journalistic positions with the BBC; Machynlleth on the west coast has been mentioned for the head office; with printing by North Wales Newspapers in Mold or the South Wales Argus in Newport.

The size and shape of the paper will depend on whether the Welsh government will accede to increasing pressure from the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages to give an annual running subsidy; £600,000 has been requested by Y Byd from individual ministries to fund 12-page daily subject-supplements to the core and unsubsidised 24-page tabloid.

Culture minister Alun Pugh has ‘no problems with the principle’but has asked subsidy supporters from both Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives whether it would be ‘the best value for our buck”. Plaid say subsidy is usual abroad, and point to Belfast and Dublin governmental cash for the daily La.

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