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Why 300 blue-robed bards are in Launceston this weekend

Cornwall's language, music and literature is being celebrated this weekend with an annual festival of culture.

It culminated in the gathering of around three hundred Bards at the annual Gorsedd. The ceremony was held in the grounds of the ruins of Launceston Castle which it's said was once the home of the King of Cornwall.

The ceremony took place in the ruins of the 11th century Launceston Castle Credit: ITV News

Nine new bards were invested with the honour of joining the Gorsedd, including singer Jon Cleave from Fishermen's Friends, and Russell Pearce, all the way from San Francisco.

Steve Hardy was there:

Anger as Government cuts all funding for Cornish language

Cornwall Council has condemned the Government's decision to cut all its funding for the Cornish language.

The Government had provided up to £150,000 a year to support the language since it was recognised under the Charter for Regional and Minority Languages in 2003.

But they have now withdrawn all money, with immediate effect.

The Government’s decision not to support Cornish with any funding whatsoever goes against the international agreements they have signed up to and that makes no sense at all.

– Julian German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture

In recent years the grant has been used to support the development of the language, including funding a range of educational activities.

The Cornish language is a great source of pride for Cornwall and is part of what makes Cornwall and the Cornish unique. Over the last five years use of the language has increased and this is reflected in street names, signage and on mainstream and social media. Just as importantly, it supports our local and visitor economy as the increase in the use of the language in marketing and tourism has proved.

– Julian German, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Culture

The Council has now received a formal letter from the Department of Communities and Local Government stating that it was not providing any further funding to support the development of the Cornish language .

This Government is committed to Cornwall as shown by our historic devolution deal – the first county deal in the country.

On top of this, Cornwall will have a core spending power of £1.7 billion over the next four years.

It is for local councils to decide what their priorities are and fund the services local people want to see.

– Department of Communities and Local Government spokesman

Speak Cornish Week gets underway

We're being asked to speak Cornish as part of a week of events Credit: ITV News

We're being asked to talk in Cornish this week as part of a campaign to raise the profile of the language.

Events for Speak Cornish Week include film screenings and children's storytimes. Last year its website received an extra 10 thousand visitors during the week.

Cornish language funding secured

Cornwall Council has welcomed today's pledge from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that he will ensure that the Government will continue to provide financial support for the Cornish Language Partnership.

The Government had previously said that it would not fund the Cornish Language beyond the current programme which ends on 31 March 2015.

This is good news and we look forward to receiving details of the amount of money we will receive.

We put forward a case for continued government support which explained the importance of the language to Cornish distinctiveness and therefore to the people and the economy of Cornwall.

– Julian German, the Chair of the Cornish Language Partnership


St Piran's Day Celebrations

Saint Piran's Flag Credit: PA: Tim Ireland

Thousands of people throughout Cornwall will celebrate St Piran, the Patron Saint of Cornwall today.

Events are taking place across the county including a parade in Truro at 1pm starting from St George's Road.

The Penzance St Piran festival, one of the largest in Cornwall, will begin at 10am with a procession at the top of Causewayhead.

Will you be celebrating? Tweet a picture to @itvwestcountry

More powers for Cornwall?

A number of Cornish people are waving the flag for more powers for the Duchy Credit: ITV News West Country

Cornwall Council is preparing a case to be given greater powers to raise and spend its own money.

It says that, regardless of the outcome of the Scottish referendum, the Government should give the county more freedom to manage its own affairs.

The authority is developing a stategy document outlining its plans for more local control.

MP champions Cornish language

Many signs in Cornwall feature both English and Cornish Credit: ITV News West Country

The West Cornwall MP will meet the Communities minister in London this afternoon to discuss the future of the Cornish language.

Andrew George is a fluent speaker, and was the first MP to speak Cornish in the House of Commons.

He wants to help to revive the minority language.

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