Thursday, 10 March 2016

St Piran's Day

Last Saturday I attended the St Piran’s Day celebrations in Redruth. This event goes from strength to strength every year and it was good to see the town centre packed and many local schools and groups taking part in the parade. 

Over the last few years we have seen a growing interest in Cornwall’s history and culture, and our part of Cornwall is right at the heart of this revival.  In Redruth, the new archive, Kresen Kernow, is now really starting to take shape on the site of the old brewery.  The smart, new walkways and public spaces give a good indication of how the centre will look once completed.

I lobbied hard to have Redruth (the home of Cornwall’s world-wide diaspora) chosen for this project, and once complete the archive will bring about new jobs, housing, and kick-start the wider regeneration of the town centre. Elsewhere, Heartlands at Pool, having had a difficult start, is now starting to find its feet with a number of events such as concerts and the fireworks display that make it a community focus. 

As well as projects that celebrate our historical achievements, it is also important to celebrate our unique, cultural heritage, and shortly before Christmas I proposed an idea to re-introduce a GCSE in the Cornish Language.  Before 1996, students taking their GCSEs used to have the option of studying Cornish, but it was discontinued due to a lack of participation. I now think the time is right to reintroduce the Cornish language as a course. The evidence shows that there are benefits to learning a second language which go beyond the learning of the language itself, and while some students may feel uninspired by French or Spanish, they may feel more enthusiastic about studying their native language.