£1m funding likely for Welsh daily

The new Welsh-language daily Y Byd – due to launch on 3 March 2008 – will almost certainly receive an annual running subsidy from the Welsh government, which could exceed £1m.

Publishers will be invited to tender, said new culture minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas. Y Byd (The World), which has been planning and financing for several years, is likely to be the only bidder. Thomas, a Plaid member of Cardiff’s new coalition with Labour, said the amount has still to be negotiated with the finance minister.

Y Byd talks of between £1m and £2m a year, with extra for start-up, following continental minority dailies.

Y Byd chairman Ned Thomas, a former journalist, said: ‘The pressure on the Cardiff and London governments from the Council of Europe’s Charter for Regional or Minority Languages about the lack of daily news in printed form has been very important.”

Leadership of all Welsh political parties is believed to have supported the move – with the blockage before May’s election said to be due to then-culture minister Alun Pugh and some fellow Labour backbenchers. But support for a daily was part of the coalition deal with Plaid.

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