The Welsh Language Board (Welsh: Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg) is a statutory body set up by the UK Government as part of the Welsh Language Act 1993. It is now an Assembly Sponsored Public Body. It began its life under John Walter Jones OBE.
It receives an annual government grant of �12m which is to be used to "promote and facilitate" the use of the Welsh language.
The Board is responsible for administering the Welsh Language Act and for seeing that public bodies in Wales keep to its terms. In reality it has no power to demand any action by these bodies and the board has come under attack in recent years for its inability to promote the use of the Welsh language in the private sector.
Many Welsh speakers see the Board as an ineffective and bureaucratic tool in the fight to save the Welsh language. Language pressure group Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg claim that a new Welsh Language Act is needed to secure the rights of Welsh speakers and to increase its usage among the younger generation.
Welsh Language Board has been at the forefront of promoting bilingual design. They have supported this goal by holding the annual Welsh Language Board bilingual awards. In 2006 winners included, FBA, Glass Hammer, Synergy Creative Design & Marketing Ltd, Hoffi, 6721, Elfen, Zodshop and Departures.
In the winter of 2004 Rhodri Morgan the First Minister of Wales announced his decision to abolish the Welsh Language Board. This decision evoked a mixed reaction throughout Wales; welcomed by Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg but met with skepticism by others. Its future is still unknown.