Welsh language calls backed for Oswestry pupils
A leading businesswoman has backed calls for the Welsh language to be taught across the border in Shropshire.
Lowri Roberts, who runs the Siop Cwlwm Welsh shop in Oswestry, says the move would boost children's future employment opportunities.
The idea has been mooted by Powys county councillors Elwyn Vaughan and Bryn Davies.
The Plaid Cymru councillors said with Oswestry formerly being a Welsh town and with it having residents who speak Welsh, it made sense to teach the language in schools.
Miss Roberts said there was a big demand for Welsh products from her shop and also a demand from people wanting to learn Welsh.
She said: "It is a great idea and definitely one I would back.
"When I was in school I went to Llanfyllin when you had a choice of speaking English, but I know now with problems over transport for pupils in Oswestry, some people wouldn't get that choice.
"I used to live in north Powys but I have lived in Oswestry for 10 years and I would want my child to learn Welsh and a way around that might be teaching in schools in Oswestry.
"We have a lot of people come into the shop asking if we teach Welsh, and people who are keen to learn the language. They may have a link with a family member which has made them want to speak Welsh, so a move like this would certainly benefit that.
"It would create employment opportunities for skilled workers. Some people want to learn Mandarin or Russian to increase their employment chances, but I think Welsh is just as effective.
"I think the problem would be funding.
"We have looked into providing Welsh classes for adults in the past and to self fund we would have to hold them at one time and have a large group.
"If we were in Powys or Wrexham we could access funding but because we are here in Oswestry, we can't get funding.
"That would be a stumbling block for teaching Welsh in Oswestry schools, but I think it is a fantastic idea."