Welsh News Outfit Y Byd Confident Of Over £1 Million Assembly Funding

Forthcoming new Welsh-language newspaper and website Y Byd (“The World”) will “almost certainly” receive between £1 million and £2 million in funds via the Welsh Assembly Government, the title’s chairman tells Press Gazette. First mooted in 2006, Y Byd has been in a long gestation, having since recruited 24 staff, headquartered in Machynlleth, and it now plans to launch on March 3, 2008, aiming to become a “live online newspaper” as well as a £0.70 daily printed edition. (In fact, given the complexities of printing and distributing copies around Wales on a shoestring, online may be the best bet).

Y Byd has so far relied on European grants, the private investor count was this summer put at 340 and the effort has been seeking smaller contributions; it also mounted a campaign to get those assembly funds. The addition of a Plaid member as heritage minister, thanks to June’s assembly coalition in Cardiff, was key in the funds’ release because a Welsh-language daily was a plank of Plaid’s election campaign. Assembly ministers had last year called the editor of the The Western Mail, the English-language “national newspaper of Wales”, to answer questions on his title’s declining coverage of assembly politics; Y Byd, modeled on minority-language titles in the Basque country and elsewhere, will give them guaranteed coverage. Welsh arts and media funding that was once made by the semi-autonomous Arts Council for Wales is now made directly by the assembly.