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Merthyr Tydfil councillors consider plans to host 2025 Urdd Eisteddfod

29 Dec 2021 4 minute read
Cyfarthfa Park lake. Photo by by LDR

Anthony Lewis, local demcoracy reporter

Councillors in Merthyr Tydfil will consider approving plans to host the 2025 Urdd Eisteddfod in the town.

A report to full council on Wednesday, January 5, recommends they approve hosting one of Europe’s largest touring festivals in Cyfarthfa Park.

It follows a request from the Urdd Gobaith Cymru to hold the £2.1m event in Merthyr.

It attracts approximately 100,000 visitors every year and more than 15,000 children and young people under the age of 25 compete as finalists at the National Urdd Eisteddfod.

The Urdd Eisteddfod is broadcast on a variety of media outlets, including 80 television broadcast hours with a reach of 487,000 viewers over the week as well as 50 radio broadcast hours plus content and coverage in the local and national press.

The Urdd Eisteddfod also has a prominent presence on social media networks, the report said.

The Urdd Eisteddfod was last held in Merthyr Tydfil in 1987 and the 2025 event, if approved, would be the largest Welsh language event in the county borough area since then.

Welsh Language Strategy

The council report said it would contribute to the vision of the council’s Welsh Language Strategy where Welsh is “heard, spoken and celebrated everywhere, regardless of background.”
If approved, a working group between the Urdd and the council would be set up.
School halls and rooms would be needed free of charge for primary and secondary show rehearsals and central committees.

Teachers and/or staff would need to be available to enable children and young people to attend the primary and secondary show rehearsals.

A suitable building for the youth theatrical production would be needed and the council would need to consider a request to allow an ‘in kind’ arrangement for a venue suitable to host the youth theatrical production for a total of seven days for rehearsals and performances.

A minimum of 25 acres for the Maes/field, 50 acres for parking and 15 acres for caravans would also be needed.

A statement of understanding would be drawn up between the Urdd’s marketing and communications department and the council.

The council would need to produce a traffic management plan for the Urdd Eisteddfod Proclamation event and the Urdd Eisteddfod, eliminate any additional costs incurred if road closures or one-way traffic systems need to be installed and be responsible for any new road signs to aid traffic flow and direct everyone safely during the week.

It would also be required to waive any entertainment and alcohol licence fees and planning permission fees.

In terms of economic benefits, the report said that the opportunity for Merthyr Tydfil to host the Urdd Eisteddfod Merthyr Tydfil 2025 “provides a further unique opportunity to showcase Merthyr Tydfil’s real assets and boost our regional profile.”

The Man Engine event, a UK wide event in 2018 where Cyfarthfa Park hosted a south Wales component, attracted around 5,000 people.

The report said that local businesses reported increased trading from this event and it added that The Urdd Eisteddfod would attract “significantly higher numbers” than this into the local economy.

The report said the economy has seen many successes as a result of events predominantly in the town centre such as Merthyr Rising and Chilli Fest.

It said that these events have attracted visitors both locally and regional
to the town centre which in effect has boosted trade in the economy resulting in an increase on local spend.

With the success of Bike Park Wales leading to 10 new start up B&Bs, it is hoped the Urdd Eisteddfod will trigger a “new wealth of new sector related businesses” positioning themselves to be ready for this event.

The cost of hosting the Urdd Eisteddfod is £2.1 million with funding coming from the Welsh Government and commercial sponsorship partnerships developed by the Urdd and the rest is from the Urdd’s internal fund raising efforts.

The report said it is an annual challenge to stage a touring festival that offers the best experiences for children, young people, and visitors.

The council would pay a financial contribution of £150,000, which equates to 7% of all costs over a three year period.

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Grayham Jones
2 years ago

It’s about time Merthyr start being welsh and stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

2 years ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Ishe anog nhw Grayham, nid sarhau.

2 years ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Grayham, dydyn nhw ddim “Little Englanders” yn fy marn i.

2 years ago

Newyddion dda.

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
2 years ago

Do you think that three years is long enough for the merthyr Tydfil planning department too get planning through the council chambers they have been talking for years adout opening the merthyr to aberdare tunnel nothing seems to be going on they can’t even put sign post’s up in merthy road entrances to claim that the first ever ever train happen in merthy Tydfil not twenty years later in Darlington come on wake up merthy trevethiks monument is in a discutining state and people come from around the world to see it i don’t know what they think of merthy… Read more »

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