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Plaid Cymru calls for more government support for National Eisteddfod

05 Aug 2023 3 minute read
Photo Lowri Evans

The Welsh Government is being urged to do more to secure the future of the National Eisteddfod as this year’s festival gets underway in Boduan.

Stressing the importance of the Eisteddfod to Wales and the Welsh language, Heledd Fychan, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for the Welsh language, highlighted the challenges the organisation has faced from Covid, Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis and its crucial role in promoting Welsh both at home and abroad.

Identity

“The National Eisteddfod is an important part of our identity as a nation, and an annual opportunity to celebrate and promote Welsh as a living and modern language,” the MS for South Wales Central said.

“The Eisteddfod also has an important role to play in achieving the target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050 and promoting Wales and the Welsh language internationally.

“While the Welsh Government is giving some support to the National Eisteddfod, it has not fully acted on the recommendations made by the Task and Finish Group it established in 2012, including the need to increase revenue and the capital grant.

“With more support from the Government, the future of the Eisteddfod could be secured and also promoted more widely as a major international festival.

“More must also be done to ensure local families to the festival have the opportunity to attend and enjoy, by committing to funding free admission for local low-income families annually.

“The Government should also explore with the Eisteddfod options for having a free Eisteddfod in Rhondda Cynon Taf next year, as it was in Cardiff Bay in 2018.

“The Eisteddfod has undoubtedly faced many challenges in recent years, with Covid, Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis affecting income and costs.

“It’s no small task to hold a touring festival of such a standard, and if we are to protect it into the future, then the Government need to do more to support that.”

Support

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We recognise and appreciate the invaluable contribution of the National Eisteddfod to the culture and heritage of the Welsh language in Wales and internationally, all of which contribute to the objectives of Cymraeg 2050.

“We have increased the National Eisteddfod’s core grant to £1m this year and allocated a total of an additional £1.75m in one-off grants between 2021-23.

“The support has made the Eisteddfod more accessible and sustainable, including enabling the Eisteddfod to offer free admission to low-income individuals and families this year.

“We are pleased that the Eisteddfod, in conjunction with Gwynedd Council, is piloting a comprehensive plan to tackle the challenge of attracting new audiences, who would not be able to afford to attend without this extra support.”


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hdavies15
hdavies15
8 months ago

Cut down the freebies for the “great and good” for starters. Too much reliance on begging bowl tactics and not enough active management and promotion of the event. Carry on like you do at present and we’ll end up like the Commonwealth Games too expensive for local authorities and fund raisers to contemplate.

G Horton-Jones.
G Horton-Jones.
8 months ago

There is a huge undercurrent of interest in all things Welsh so the idea of a second Eisteddfod at the other end of Cymru possibly a winter event is probably a good idea for the near future

Llyn
Llyn
8 months ago

At the risk of being shot down, even as someone who is centre-left, Plaid can appear to be a party whose central or even only message these days is give more money to everything worthy (yesterday Doctors – which I agree with- today the Eisteddfod). This can come across as populist and not serious. With the Welsh Government having a set budget; and there’s very little that Plaid could do about that even in government, I would be interested to know what budget cuts they would undertake to enable their ever growing wish list of spending promises.

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