Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 18:52 UK

1.6m for 'cultural jewel' venue

A world of colour at the Llangollen eisteddfod opening parade

Llangollen's Royal Pavilion has been awarded £1.6m to fund repairs and maintenance work, announced during the International Musical Eisteddfod.

Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones announced the funding on the first day of the 2009 event, describing it as one of Wales' "cultural jewels".

The Welsh Assembly Government has pledged £1m, with Denbighshire Council contributing £600,000.

Meanwhile, a record of the show's history has gone on public display.

Announcing the funding, Mr Jones said: "The Llangollen International Festival is one of Wales' cultural jewels.

"The annual Eisteddfod attracts visitors and participants from all over the world and the annual festival makes a prominent and crucial contribution to the Welsh Assembly Government's efforts to promote and develop cultural tourism.

"The Eisteddfod pavilion lies at the heart of the efforts to build on the success of the festival to date.

"There is a need to repair the structure of the building and without this there might have been a threat to Eisteddfodau in the near future."

Terry Waite
Terry Waite was among guests who attended the 2007 festival

He said the funding - part of a £41.3m injection to boost the Welsh economy - would allow structural work to be completed before the 2010 festival.

This year's festival was due to begin with an opening concert on Monday starring Faryl Smith and the Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir.

Singer Barbara Dixon is also among this year's performers.

A collection of photographs, documents and recordings celebrating the Eisteddfod's beginnings since its start in 1947 to the present day, have gone on display at Denbighshire's Record Office in Ruthin.

It began as an idea by Harold Tudor from Coedpoeth, near Wrexham, who wanted to create a festival to promote international peace and goodwill through music in the aftermath of the Second World War.

The first was held in 1947 and the first German choir attended in 1949.

Singers and dancers from across the world take part every year, and past headline acts include Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo.

The records catalogue includes pictures of royal visits, a telegram of support from former Prime Minister Anthony Eden, brochures and posters and audio recordings.

Staff at the records office have asked anyone with material that could be added to the collection to call 01824 708250.

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