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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 April, 2005, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Council 'can't afford eisteddfod'
Eisteddfod council meeting
The eisteddfod's national council will next meet in June
Members of the National Eisteddfod council have been told their preferred location for 2007, Flintshire, cannot provide financing for the event.

The meeting in Aberystwyth heard the event may not be held at all that year if no decision on a location is made.

Eisteddfod court president Dr R Alun Evans said the "door was closing" on Flintshire as an option.

At present, Liverpool city council is the only body which has issued an invitation to host the eisteddfod.

Although Flintshire was the preferred choice of site for the 2007 event, the county council has said it cannot give the necessary financial support.

Members discussed the possibility of taking the event to Liverpool, although the city's Welsh community has already expressed reservations over its ability to organise the event, despite the city council's backing.

Other options discussed included:

  • bringing forward the 2008 festival in Cardiff by one year

  • holding the eisteddfod in the international pavilion in Llangollen

  • using the Royal Welsh showground in Builth Wells

  • holding a TV eisteddfod, as the youth organisation Urdd Gobaith Cymraeg did during the foot and mouth outbreak

  • not holding the event at all that year as a last resort.

    Dr Evans said: "We understand the financial problems facing local government.

    "But at the same time we are disappointed that after so many years discussing the issue, Flintshire council cannot see the way forward to doing something that I think they would wish to do."

    The eisteddfod's council has granted permission for the management board to consider all options and report back to the next council meeting on 25 June.

    Before the meeting, Elfed Roberts, director of the National Eisteddfod, mentioned that talks had been held with the Wales Local Government Association (WLGA).

    "Since last September we have been in talks with the association to see if all of the 22 local governments could contribute towards the eisteddfod," he said.

    The eisteddfod, an annual celebration of music, dance, poetry, and art, has been held in Liverpool three times before - in 1884, 1900, and 1929.

    Traditionally, the festival alternates between north and south Wales each year and this August it will be hosted by the Faenol estate in Gwynedd.

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