In 2014, the UK Government recognised Cornish people as a national minority. We help organisations, businesses and educators understand the impications for their operations, services and audiences.

A national minority

In 2014, the UK Government recognised Cornish people as a national minority. This gave them certain protections under a treaty called the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. This treaty was created by Europe’s leading human rights organisation, the Council of Europe, which was established in 1949. The Council of Europe is not part of the European Union and the UK remains a member of the Council of Europe.

“The decision to recognise the unique identity of the Cornish, now affords them the same status under the Framework as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish”.

Official UK Government announcement – 24 April 2014

Why Cornish people?

As a group, Cornish people possess certain features which define them as a national minority, including:
• self-identification
• a distinct language, traditions and cultural heritage
• national origins – a history and geography which demonstrate that in the past Cornwall was considered to be a nation.

“Britain is divided in four parts; whereof the one is inhabited of Englishmen, the other of Scots, the third of Welshmen and the fourth of Cornish people, which all differ among themselves, either in tongue, either in manners, or else in laws and ordinances”.
Anglica Historia – Polydore Vergil – 1535

What does national minority status mean?

Recognising Cornish people as a national minority places a number of obligations on the UK Government, its agencies and other organisations. Under the Framework Convention, the UK Government must help Cornish people to maintain and develop their culture and identity. This includes encouraging the learning and use of the Cornish language, and providing greater opportunities for Cornish people to take part in the life of the nation. It also places an obligation on the UK Government to help Cornish people learn more about their own, and other people’s, culture and history.

What are the implications for Cornish people, organisations and businesses?

We work with, alongside and for a range of bodies and sectors to help them better understand how to understand how this impacts on their operations, services and audiences. Our portfolio includes Cornwall Council, Arts Council England, RIBA and includes the Cornish Minority Report 2, commissioned by Cornwall Council which was submitted to the UK Government prior to recognition.

Please get in touch to discuss how we can help your organisation.