Newsquest and Books Council of Wales joint statement – Corgi Cymru

The Books Council of Wales and Newsquest have agreed to end the funding and provision of Welsh-language digital news service Corgi Cymru.

Both parties came to a mutual agreement to propose to close Corgi Cymru’s digital channels at the end of October and allow the service to be wound down over the following month.

One full-time and one part-time role are now at risk and a consultation will be held with affected Newsquest staff, starting today, 19 October.

Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council, said: “After careful consideration and discussion, the Books Council and Newsquest have agreed that it is in the best interest of both parties to discontinue our funding agreement and close the Corgi Cymru digital news service at the end of October.

“We have been in regular contact with Newsquest over the last few weeks and we are sorry to see Corgi Cymru close, but we do understand that circumstances have changed since the grant was awarded, due to the very challenging current environment. Our thoughts are with the staff who are affected by this decision.”

Gavin Thompson, Regional Editor at Newsquest, said: “We are grateful to the Books Council for its support, which enabled the launch of Corgi Cymru earlier this year. Unfortunately, it became clear that even with Books Council support and given the challenging economic environment, building a new Welsh-language proposition at this time would not be economically sustainable.

“We have been engaged in constructive discussions over the future of the service in recent weeks, following the closure of The National Wales. We will begin a consultation process with affected staff, starting today.”

The Books Council of Wales will announce the process for re-tendering the remainder of the Welsh Language Digital News Service grant funding from 2023 onwards over the coming weeks.