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Could Newtown benefit from Eisteddfod

Created on 22/12/2011 @ 12:09

With a proposal to site the National Eisteddfod at the Royal Welsh Showground near Builth Wells on alternative years could the event provide an ecomomic benefit for Newtown and the rest of Montgomeryshire.

mynewtown understands that a proposal put forward by Professor Gerald Holtham to site the festival at the showground on alternative years to help cut the cost of running the event which normally tours locations throughout Wales, could be looked on favouribly if organisers are pressurised by funders, including the Welsh Government.

Professor Holtham said the event had made a loss of more than £120,000 over the past few years. His proposals would mean the event, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors, would utilise the showground and then be staged at other sites in Wales on the alternate years. This would mean infrastructure costs would be minimised.

However, if the suggestion was acted upon, it could mean communities such as Newtown, Llanidloes and Welshpool could tap into the thousands of people who travel to the event each day along the A483 and A470 trunk roads during the week-long event, as well as those seeking accommodation.

Quoted by the BBC, Professor Holtham said: "The Eisteddfod could have a permanent home for use every other year and move in the off-year. Since it alternates north and south, the permanent home should be in Mid Wales and there is an obvious place. And sharing ready-made facilities must cut costs. Then the festival could afford a trip north or south every second year."

So far organisers of the show have said it is unlikely to be considered. But in the current economic climate it might have to consider ways of reducing costs.