Cynghrair Cymunedau Cymraeg bids to rejuvenate Welsh

Image caption The Aberystwyth conference comes after the 2011 Census found a drop in Welsh speakers

A conference of Welsh speaking communities is discussing how they can sustain and rejuvenate the language.

It comes after the 2011 Census found the number of people speaking Welsh had fallen in the past 10 years.

Nearly 20 areas have signed up to support the language in a campaign by Cynghrair Cymunedau Cymraeg, an alliance of Welsh speaking communities.

The group's first meeting is at the Morlan Centre in Aberystwyth on Saturday.

Cynghrair Cymunedau Cymraeg said some community and town councils had joined its campaign, along with co-operatives and community groups who promoted the language.

The organiser of the event in Aberystwyth, Menna Machreth, said Saturday's meeting was about "language planning from the bottom up".

"By bringing them together we hope to start that discussion and hopefully we can work together, inspire each other, share good practice and hopefully come up with ideas for our own communities," Ms Machreth said.

She added: "Clearly the Welsh language has won a lot of battles over the last 50 years.

"It's improved its status massively, but there's a steady decline of people who are using the language in their communities.

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Media captionThe 2011 Census found there are now fewer communities where 70% of the population speak the language

"More and more people are learning the language which is a good thing, but we're very concerned about less people using the language in their locality."

Figures from the 2011 Census suggest Welsh is now a minority language in two heartlands, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

Only in Gwynedd and Anglesey do over half the population now speak Welsh.

The number of Welsh speakers overall fell from 582,000 in 2001 to 562,000 last year, despite an increase in the size of the population.

This represents a drop of two percentage points - from 21% to 19%.

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