The Cornish Language Partnership was established in 2005 and was seen as an opportunity to strengthen Cornwall’s identity in a global economy. The language started to be seen as an asset in terms of marking out Cornwall a special place – so even though the number of speakers was still small, it was a source of pride.
Maga, the office of the Cornish Language Partnership, created an official presence for the language and a central point to coordinate the various voluntary efforts in support of the language, such as film, radio and information about classes, which were all much more easily accessed through the web. The website brought together information about adult classes, online classes and correspondence courses – whereas before it was hard to find out where classes were taking place as most teachers were volunteers, so these were often in village halls or in homes. Other activities carried out to raise the visibility of the language were the introduction of Kernewek into road signs, company logos, entrances to buildings, etc. Maga also employed two education officers – to create school resources and to run classes in schools. This helped introduce the language into a number of schools. Nonetheless, Cornish is not yet part of the curriculum so learning is not sustained.
The Partnership has now been replaced by the Cornish Language Office within Cornwall and the language programme now focuses on raising status and visibility of the Cornish language, building up the number of speakers during the next five years by delivering the brand as a driver for distinctiveness and economic benefit; delivering increased social cohesion through reinforcing local identity; raising the aspirations and skills of children and young people, and reversing language shift by increasing take-up and moving learners through to fluency.