Eisteddfod return set to help boost Llanelli
LLANELLI looks set to benefit from a multimillion-pound boost when it stages the National Eisteddfod in 2014.
The Star can confirm the town will welcome the week-long festival, which attracts around 160,000 visitors each year and is said to boost the host area’s economy by up to £8 million.
The announcement came after months of discussions between Eisteddfod organisers and Carmarthenshire Council, and the coup has been described as “the icing on the cake” for Llanelli.
Council leader Kevin Madge said: “The Eisteddfod’s visit will be a great boost for the whole county, not only during the week itself but during the period leading up to festival week in August 2014.
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“These are exciting times for Llanelli, with Theatr y Ffwrnes and the East Gate development opening soon.”
The 2000 Eisteddfod hosted in Llanelli was considered a huge success, and businesses hope to see record figures yet again.
Stradey Park Hotel marketing manager Daniel Bayliss said: “Llanelli being selected as the host for the Eisteddfod would be a massive boost, not just for the tourism influx which purportedly boosts the economy to the tune of £6 to £8 million, but for the overall reputation of the town.
“I think that just as the Olympics has a long-term effect on tourism, so can the Eisteddfod.
“Bringing 150,000 people to the area is a great opportunity to showcase the beauty of Llanelli to people who may not have experienced it before.”
Paul Jenkins, a director at The Diplomat Hotel, added: “Hopefully it will bring an influx of people in. All the bars and restaurants are quiet, so extra business would be fantastic.”
The Eisteddfod will be held at the Festival Fields, with events also taking place at the new Y Ffwrnes theatre.
Eisteddfod chief executive Elfed Roberts says organisers are looking forward to returning to the county.
“The area has always been a great supporter of the festival, and has had a strong relationship with us for many generations,” he added.