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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 September, 2004, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Eisteddfod body's crisis meeting
Newport eisteddfod site
This year's festival in Newport made a loss
The National Eisteddfod Council has called an emergency meeting over the festival's worsening financial crisis.

The council needs to raise 300,000 or it may face having to make drastic cuts to next year's event in Gwynedd.

Some of the 21 eisteddfod staff could lose their jobs to help make up the deficit.

Officials had anticpated a loss of 200,000 at the recent Newport event, on top of losses in St David's in 2002 and Denbigh in 2001.

Last year's event in Meifod, Powys, made a small profit.

The meeting, to be held on 18 September in Aberystwyth, will review the problems which stem from a cut of 100,000 to the eisteddfod's annual grant by the Welsh Language Board back in1997.

The festival now gets 16,000 less every year than it did seven years ago.

The Welsh assembly government could tomorrow save the worry to the people who are working hard in Eryri
Richard Morris Jones
At the Newport event in August, an appeal was launched to avert the crisis, which has so far raised in the region of 75,000.

Richard Morris Jones, chairman of the Executive Committee for the Eryri and District Eisteddfod next year expressed their concerns.

"We have to accept that the situation is quite serious and that the whole future of the Eisteddfod is in the balance and that something needs to be done immediately.

"As far as Eryri is concerned we are still quite confident that we can create a memorable eisteddfod that people will enjoy.

"But...we are raising money for the local target...that is one tenth of the cost of the eisteddfod," he said.

'Important'

"Although we're successful locally there is concern that the situation centrally will have a tremendous effect on the eisteddfod in Eryri."

"I think that the politicians are playing some sort of a game...the Welsh assembly government could tomorrow save the worry to the people who are working hard in Eryri and Swansea.

"It's a small amount of money to compare with what is invested in other projects.

"They must address the situation and present and answer to the Eisteddfod's staff and authorities."

A spokesman for the assembly government said: "The Welsh Assembly Government is extremely supportive of the National Eisteddfod, providing 360k funding through the Welsh Language Board for 2004-05.

"This represents a substantial increase from 300k in 2002-03.

"The National Eisteddfod is an important cultural event, and the assembly government is clear about the important role it plays in supporting and promoting the Welsh language.

"The assembly government will have to discuss the situation with the Welsh Language Board and other partners".


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