WELSH language campaigners are urging a Ceredigion holiday park to “abandon renaming proposals”, after the owners announced they were replacing the traditional Welsh name.
Cymdeithas yr Iaith said the renaming of Glan y Môr to Aber Bay is “a step in the wrong direction”, and are urging the owners Allens Caravans Estates Ltd, who took over ownership of the park in 2017, to “abandon the renaming proposals”.
Local concerns have also been raised after Allens Caravans announced the community would not be allowed to use facilities on the new site, which is currently being developed, and all touring facilities have been removed.
Allens Caravans told the Cambrian News: “Careful consideration was put into the re-branding and at no point was it felt that we were trying to detract from any Welsh connections. Quite the opposite, we are investing heavily and opening up new opportunities for local employment.
“It is always our intention is to have a positive impact on the local areas where we own and operate parks.”
They confirmed “the facilities at the park will be for our customers and their families to enjoy”.
They said the original farmhouse will remain named Glan Y Môr, adding two local residents and one customer, so far, have contacted them about the name change.
The spokesperson added: “Glan Y Môr did not in previous years have a good reputation and despite our best endeavours to market the park to new customers, we were met with complaints and issues prior to our ownership, something that tarnished the name and in turn was detrimental to moving forward with such a significant redevelopment.”
Jeff Smith, Rhanbarth Ceredigion and chair of the Sustainable Communities Group for Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said: “Cymdeithas yr Iaith is very concerned that places and properties across Wales are being renamed in English, with the new names frequently replacing old and historic names that are woven into the fabric of our communities.
“As we understand it, the holiday park has been known as Glan y Môr for over a century and this is a descriptive and well-known name.
“Cymdeithas yr Iaith want to see a sustainable tourism sector in Wales that works with and supports local communities, language and culture. We therefore see the renaming as a step in the wrong direction and would urge the owners of the holiday park to abandon the renaming proposals.
“Furthermore, the very fact that the owners of the holiday park are allowed to anglicise the original name underlines the need for legislation to protect Welsh language place names. After years of delay, we need to see action from the Welsh Government on this.”
In May 2021, Allens Caravans’ plans to demolish the exisiting clubhouse, to make way for a new reception building comprising pool, restaurant, reception and offices, were given the green light . A children’s soft play area, along with meeting rooms and offices will also be incorporated into the project.
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