National Eisteddfod local fund hits record level
Fundraisers have raised more than half a million pounds to help stage the National Eisteddfod for the first time.
When the National Eisteddfod was officially invited to be staged in Llyn and Eifionydd four years ago organisers set local fundraisers a target of £400,000.
The Covid-19 pandemic intervened and the Eisteddfod was twice postoponed and is taking place this week on farmland on the outskirts of Pwllheli.
Officially launching the National Eisteddfod from the Pafiliwn Mawr stage, Festival President, Liz Saville Roberts, announced the local fund had passed half a million pounds – and money is still being raised.
She told a delighted audience the total fund on Friday evening stood at £503,610, with communities across Llyn, Eifionydd and Arfon having contributed thousands of pounds by holding events and activities, sponsoring prizes and raising local awareness of the festival over recent years.
Chair of the Executive Committee, Michael Strain, said: “Four years ago, we had an ambitious financial target of £400,000 at the start of the project. And then came Covid, with the target seemingly out of reach.
“I have nothing but respect and admiration for all our volunteers – from Abergwyngregyn to Aberdaron and from Penrhyndeudraeth to Bontnewydd – for all their work, their dedication and their enthusiasm, They were determined to reach the target, and again -all the activities started after COVID.
“I am convinced that the target and the desire of our local residents across the catchment area to support the Eisteddfod has helped to reopen Llyn, Eifionydd and Arfon following the pandemic. People came back together to socialise and the money flowed into our festival’s coffers.
“So today, it’s a pleasure to announce our total – so far. And the money still reaches us almost daily. And I can only thank all of our volunteers, everyone who has organised or come to an event – and most of all to our Local Fund Committee, and Dafydd Rhun the chairman for leading us to such success. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone.”
Despite heavy rain overnight which had caused disruption elsewhere the Eisteddfod Maes was largely unaffected although officials had to change car parks at one stage.
Mr Strain said: “I was in the car park just after seven this morning and while the rain was falling people were coming out of their cars with smiles on their faces happy to see the Eisteddfod underway after such a long wait.”
Eisteddfod chief executive Betsan Moses stressed that the festival is a partnership with the local community and other agencies.
“It would be impossible to stage an Eisteddfod without their help and we have had an excellent response.
“We have had more volunteers come forward than ever before and despite the rain they have come in their thousands and that is a good thing,” she said.
The partnership, whe added, extends to the emergency services who have worked with Eisteddfod officials to ensure everyone can enjoy a safe festival.
She urged every Eisteddfodgoer visiting the Maes in the next week to abide by the traffic arrangements which had been put in place to ensure safety.
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