A political campaign has opened to persuade the Welsh Government to give a running subsidy to the Welsh-language daily newspaper planned to launch in the autumn.
Y Byd (The World) is lobbying supporters to put pressure on politicians in advance of the National Assembly election on 3 May.
An appeal letter to supporters says the approaching election is a suitable time to ask for political party manifesto pledges along the lines of the £400,000 over two years being given to the Irish-language La Nua in Belfast, and £1m to the Basque Berria.
Y Byd is relying on the UK Government’s signature of the Council of Europe’s European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The first report in 2004 on how the UK was adhering to its treaty obligations stated that ‘the availability of daily news in printed form is lacking. Compared with languages in a similar position to Welsh in the UK, this is anomalous”.
Minister for culture, Welsh language and sport Alun Pugh said there were no plans to provide funding from within his portfolio.
The paper, whose main office will be in the west coast town of Machynlleth, has already been promised a Regional Selective Assistance grant from the Government – matched by county council money – but it also wants £600,000 per year for daily supplements.
The current report is about to be published. The Assembly Government is preparing a riposte after earlier refusing a running grant.