National Eisteddfod set for Wrexham in 2025 as second culture bid confirmed
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
The National Eisteddfod looks set to be held in Wrexham in 2025 after it was confirmed a second bid will be made for the area to become UK City of Culture.
The county borough was pipped to the post by Bradford in the race to hold the title in three years’ time after entering a competition run by the UK Government.
However, it’s now been revealed that during the application process, the organisers of the National Eisteddfod agreed to bring their celebration of Welsh culture and language to Wrexham in 2025.
It will be held as one of seven events leading up to a further bid by Wrexham Council to become City of Culture in 2029.
The local authority’s arts portfolio holder, Cllr Hugh Jones, said both the Eisteddfod and culture title could boost the local economy by millions of pounds.
It is expected that Bradford will attract funding of up to £300million as the next City of Culture.
Speaking at a media briefing held earlier this week, he said: “We’ve only just had the feedback from the judges on the culture bid and when you read that it is absolutely positive about what we’ve achieved.
“The people of Wrexham embraced it so the question for us would be why wouldn’t we go for City of Culture 2029 when we’ve had such fantastic feedback and why wouldn’t we go for the Eisteddfod in 2025.
“If you look at the financial breakdown around the Eisteddfod, there’s a cost to the council in the region of £300,000.
“But then there’s an estimate of £6m to £8m coming into the local economy in that week.”
He added: “The Eisteddfod has a positive impact both on businesses and on the community.
“It fits nicely into the City of Culture bid where the community is at the heart of there.”
As one of the runners up in the City of Culture competition alongside County Durham and Southampton, Wrexham was awarded £125,000 to deliver some elements of its bid.
The council’s chief executive Ian Bancroft said the funding would be used to hold events focused around comedy, football and music.
He said some of the money would also help to boost the number of staff involved in the next culture bid.
He said: “We’re building capacity because I think Bradford had eight staff employed at the time they won City of Culture.
“What we’re doing is beginning to build that resource so there will be a lead officer appointed to work on this.”
A non-paid position is also being put in place to chair a board of individuals who will be responsible for delivering the bid.
And Mr Bancroft said the authority was confident of winning in 2029, with the competition set to relaunch in 2025.
He said: “This time when we made our bid, we put ourselves in the shoes of believing we could win, and I think that’s why we got so close.
“The judges’ feedback says we were very passionate, very believable and would’ve been a worthy winner.
“It’s just that the level of the competition was very high.
“Wales has never won UK City of Culture so we would be silly not to bid again given the strength of our bid and that Wales is going to win some time.”
Members of the council’s executive board will be asked to back the UK City of Culture 2029 bid and holding the National Eisteddfod in 2025 when they meet on Tuesday (July 12
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