Why the Ceredigion Kids Scattered; COMMUNITY: A New TV Series Looks at One of the Welsh Language Heartlands

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Byline: CHRIS DAVIES

WITH all the discussion and controversy in the media about the future of the Welsh language in the Welshspeaking communities, a four-part S4C series will get to grips with the issue in one of the language's heartlands, Ceredigion.

The broadcasting of Lle Neis i Blant (A Nice Place for Kids) is particularly timely - it's a constructive contribution to the discussion on the language issue. People of both languages and various backgrounds and occupations in Ceredigion tell their stories and give their opinions.

During 1990 and 1991, television producer Catrin MS Davies visited towns and villages in the area and interviewed scores of children and their parents about the Welsh language.

The first Lle Neis i Blant series was part of a larger multi-media project entitled Creu Cof which recorded the lives of people in Ceredigion at a time of great change.

Ten years later, early in 2001, Davies and her camera crew interviewed those children who are now in their early 20s, their parents and a cross-section of the county's population, as a social record of Ceredigion at the beginning of the millennium.

"I filmed the first series at a time of great social change when the county experienced a large influx of incomers, " says Davies, a director at Aberystwyth-based production company Hon Cyf.

"The series looks at all aspects of community life - education, transport, demographic change and the economy - but perhaps the most serious problem is the lack of work and career opportunities which has led hundreds of young, professional Welsh-speaking people to settle in other towns and cities, particularly Cardiff.

"Apart from the universities and tourism, Ceredigion has very little quality high-paid employment and in the face of the foot-and-mouth outbreak, the county's agricultural industry is also in jeopardy."

Among those being interviewed were young Welsh-speaking people in their late teens and early 20s who have left Ceredigion to live in Cardiff. …