Page last updated at 08:06 GMT, Saturday, 2 August 2008 09:06 UK

Eisteddfod returns to the capital

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Watch the preparations for the eisteddfod in Cardiff's Pontcanna Fields.

The National Eisteddfod has returned to Cardiff for the first time in 30 years, with organisers predicting an 8m boost for the capital.

Wales' leading cultural festival hopes to attract 160,000 people during the week, helped by its central location.

The main competitions, stalls and attractions are in Pontcanna Fields, close to the city centre.

Organisers expect benefits to exceed the 6.3m generated in Swansea in 2006, when it last visited south Wales.

Chief executive Elfed Roberts said: "Given good weather we are confident that the Eisteddfod will generate up to 8m for the local economy."

As well as the main pavilion, there are also separate tents for art, science, dance - and beer.

The eisteddfod said hotels, pubs, restaurants and shops would be the biggest winners.

"The signs are very positive for attendances, helped by the location of the eisteddfod site at Pontcanna, close to the city centre, and also the fact that this year's event is being held in the capital," said Mr Roberts.

"The interest can be illustrated by the fact the Caernarfon-based coach company Silver Star Holidays is this year bringing more than twice the number of people they normally take to the eisteddfod."

Cardiff's city centre manager Paul Williams advised visitors to book accommodation as early as possible.

"The eisteddfod offers a fantastic opportunity for people from all over Wales to visit their capital and, hopefully, many will come not only in August but return in the future," he said.

Efforts are also being made to attract non-Welsh speakers.

Pronunciation advice

A pocket-size guide has been produced, giving information about the main attractions, as well as pronunciation advice and a guide to Welsh phrases.

A whole area, Maes D, is being devoted to information and entertainment for Welsh learners.

Mr Roberts said: "A myth that circulates suggests that the eisteddfod is for Welsh-speakers only and that is completely wrong.

"It belongs to the people of Wales, whether or not people speak Welsh."

Cardiff University students' union will be home to Maes B, the part of the Eisteddfod designed for young people.

Visitors travelling by car are being advised to leave the M4 at junction 33, then use a park and ride at Leckwith.

Parking spaces for 400 bicycles have also been provided at the main site.

Standard tickets cost 12 for adults, with reductions for children and pensioners.


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26 Jun 05 |  South West Wales

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