Newport City Council has said it wants the Welsh language to be part of everyone’s lives within the next ten years.

The council has published a draft plan aiming to increase the number of Welsh speakers in the city through education, visibility and employment.

Councillor Jason Hughes, the local authority's Welsh language champion, said: “We want residents to be a part of this process, as this will be a long-term strategy to bring Welsh into everyone’s lives."

He described Welsh as "living, vibrant and vital" and "we want to ensure that all residents, whatever their age, have the opportunity to learn and speak their national tongue".

He added: "Our message is to see, hear, learn, use and love the language."

A public consultation into the draft Welsh in Education Strategic Plan opened on Monday, September 27, allowing Newport residents to have their say on the plans.

Currently, one-in-five (20.5 per cent) people in Newport can speak fluent Welsh, placing the local authority 15th out of Wales' 22 local authorities, just below Swansea.

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Newport council leader Jane Mudd said the new plan aimed to increase the number of places in Welsh-medium schools within the next ten years.

Following the opening of Ysgol Gymraeg Nant Gwenlli this month, Newport now has four Welsh-medium primary schools. Ysgol Gyfun Gwent Is Coed opened in 2017 and is the city's only Welsh-medium secondary school.

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“We recognise there is still more we can do to help achieve the national target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050 and increase the percentage of those who use the language every day," Cllr Mudd said. “We want our national language to be part of the fabric of the city, woven into every aspect of people’s lives.

"The draft plan is the next step to making that ambition become a reality and we want to know what you think of it.”

In 2017, the Welsh Government created its Cymraeg 2050 strategy, which aims to reach one million Welsh speakers and double the daily use of Welsh by the year 2050.

Newport council’s cabinet member for education, Deborah Davies, said Welsh was "not just something that should be preserved and treasured as a significant part of our heritage, but something that should be nurtured so it can continue to flourish and enrich lives in the 21 century".

The public consultation on the plan is open until November 22.

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