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Urdd contributed £45m to the Welsh economy last year

29 Nov 2023 5 minute read
Mistar Urdd

Martin Shipton

Wales’ largest youth organisation Urdd Gobaith Cymru contributed nearly £45m to the Welsh economy in 2022-23, according to a new report.

In five years, the Urdd’s economic worth has increased from £25.5m to £44.9m, an increase of 76%, and the organisation’s turnover has increased from £10.2m to £19.6m – an 88% increase.


Along with economic value the report also addresses the Urdd’s status as an employer for young people in Wales.

The main findings of the report by Arad Research are:

* The Urdd’s residential centres generated a total economic value of £7.9m within their communities;

* The Urdd’s sports activities generated an economic value of £6.1m in Wales;

* For every £1 of income received, the Urdd Eisteddfod produced an economic value of £6.96m.

* Some 42% of the 362 staff employed by the Urdd are under 25, and 38% of the Urdd’s strategic boards members are between 18 and 25.

* There has been a 109% increase in new apprenticeships per year since 2018 (from 35 to 73).

* As many as 80% of those who complete the Urdd’s apprenticeship scheme are employed by the organisation.

The report says: “The Urdd’s expenditure data shows that the organisation spent a total of:

* £11.0m on goods and services in 2022-23, with 75% of this (£8.3m) spent with suppliers based in Wales. This included capital expenditure of £2.5m (97% of that on Welsh businesses) to improve facilities at the Urdd camps in Llangrannog, Pentre Ifan and Glan-llyn

* £7.1m on staff salaries, all of which live in Wales.

“This means that the total direct impact of the Urdd on the Welsh economy in 2022-23 was £15.4m.

“In terms of the indirect impact, the Urdd’s activities, including the local and national Eisteddfods, the residential centres, activities and sports competitions attract competitors, participants and visitors to areas across Wales. Their spending can be estimated using a survey from over 500 visitors to the 2023 Urdd Eisteddfod in Carmarthenshire alongside the Urdd’s data on visitor numbers and their spending patterns. The analysis shows the following:

* Visitors to the residential centres spent an estimated £1.3m on goods and services in the Ceredigion, Gwynedd and Cardiff areas (eg transport, shops, visiting attractions) during their visits.

* It is estimated that visitors to regular Urdd clubs and sporting events (e.g. Urban Games) spent £1.9m on goods and services in different areas of Wales (eg transport, shops, visiting attractions) during their visits (figures have been rounded).

* Based on Eisteddfod visitor survey data, visitor spending in the Carmarthenshire area is estimated to be equivalent to £7.4m spent on the following:

* £3.8m on private accommodation (e.g. hotels);

* £1.7m with businesses from Wales on the Eisteddfod site (e.g. stalls,


* £1.5m on goods and services from other local businesses during their visit (e.g. restaurants, shops, transport);

* Additionally, competitors and visitors spend an estimated £0.5m while attending local and regional Eisteddfods in their local areas (figures have been rounded).

“In terms of the induced impact, the data collected from a survey of the Urdd’s suppliers suggests that, on average, businesses spend 90% of the income they earn and that 73% of that expenditure is on goods, services and staff salaries in Wales. Data from a survey of Urdd staff combined with data on national saving rates was used to estimate that 41% of Urdd staff income is spent in Wales.

“Using the above rates, the above direct and indirect expenditure is estimated to result in an induced impact of £18.9m.”

Economic effect

The report follows on from the findings of the Urdd’s economic effect in 2018, and its main aim was to find the national economic value of the organisation and its several departments, including the Residential Centres, Sports, Apprenticeships, Eisteddfod and the Arts, Youth and Community.

The survey also states that the activities provided by the Urdd impact positively on young people’s attitudes towards Wales and the Welsh language, along with their confidence, social and emotional skills, and wellbeing. Furthermore, learners from the apprenticeship department feel they have full support throughout their journey.

Urdd chief executive Siân Lewis said: “Research company Arad were commissioned to assess the Urdd’s economic value to Wales, and it’s fair to say that we are very pleased with the figures. The Urdd’s aim is to provide experiences and activities through the medium of Welsh for children and young people in Wales, but this report demonstrates that we go way above our aims by generating jobs and wealth for the economy of Wales.

“With 362 members of staff, the Urdd is one of the largest Welsh language employers and the main provider of apprenticeships through the medium of Welsh within the third sector in Wales. Today’s economic value of £44.9m shows that a third sector organisation that operates through the medium of Welsh can succeed in creating an economic impact together with a positive influence on the Welsh language.

“In this challenging economic climate, we appreciate that every organisation receiving public money needs to demonstrate value for money and I am pleased that this report clearly shows our impact on Wales.”


Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “I want to thank the Urdd for the contribution they’ve made to the Welsh economy for over a century.

Their efforts support our ambition towards a fairer, greener, and more prosperous Wales – all while having Cymraeg at the core of everything they do.”

Attending an event at the Urdd’s Residential Centre in Cardiff Bay, where the report was launched, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Dawn Bowden said: “This report demonstrates the importance the Welsh language, culture and sports can have on our economy.

As we back young people to achieve the ambitious futures they deserve in Wales, the Urdd continues to nurture the workforce of the future.”

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