Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Eisteddfod short of funds target

Eisteddfod main pavilion
The event costs more than 3m to stage each year

The National Eisteddfod says fundraisers are working hard for next year's event although only a fraction of the local target has been reached.

Organisers say £14,500 of the £300,000 target has been raised for the event in Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent, next summer and admit the recession is an issue.

However, the assembly government has already offered up to £300,000 if local appeals failed to raise enough money.

The eisteddfod costs £3m, with income including ticket sales and sponsorship.

Ministers say the festival will help promote Blaenau Gwent and contribute up to £8m to the local economy.

Whenever we're invited to an area, we assess the risks and we were aware we may not be able to raise the £300,000
Gwenllian Carr, National Eisteddfod

This year's event in Bala, Gwynedd, made a profit of around £100,000 after local fundraising brought in £296,000.

National Eisteddfod head of communication, Gwenllian Carr, said fundraising was important but it was also a priority to raise awareness of the event in Blaenau Gwent.

"Whenever we're invited to an area, we assess the risks and we were aware we may not be able to raise the £300,000," she said.

"The regeneration section of the Welsh Assembly Government was able to provide us with a grant that if we were unable to hit the target, we could still hold it there.

"This doesn't mean there's no fundraising going on but maybe more than that, it's raising awareness of the eisteddfod which hasn't been there since 1958."

She said organisers had encouraged people to get involved in the Ebbw Vale event, with 1,500 taking part in a parade through the town as part of the proclamation ceremony in June.

TV deals

"The support is there and we're keen to to make sure that the whole of Wales is aware that the eisteddfod is taking place in Blaenau Gwent and the heads of the valleys," she added.

Next year's event runs from 31 July to 7 August at The Works, Ebbw Vale, the former steelworks site at the centre of a redevelopment project.

Ms Carr said there was plenty of time left to raise more money, although the economic climate had been an issue.

"It doesn't help that we've been in the middle of a worldwide recession. There's not a lot of disposable income around," she said.

Appeal committees are set up in different parts of the host town's catchment area to raise funds.

Other funding comes from the assembly via the Welsh Language Board, local councils across Wales through an agreement with the Welsh Local Government Association, trade stands, TV deals, ticket sales and sponsorship.

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