Monmouthshire County Council and the area’s communities have been praised for their involvement in this year’s National Eisteddfod in Abergavenny.  The National Eisteddfod Council received the evaluation report of the 2016 Monmouthshire and District Eisteddfod at Aberystwyth last weekend (Saturday 26th November) which highlighted how the council and residents worked to ensure that the celebration of Welsh language and culture was a huge success.

Presenting his final report to the Council, Executive Chair Frank Olding said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome the rest of Wales to Monmouthshire over the summer, and I’m delighted that so many people enjoyed what the county and the Eisteddfod had to offer.”

Mr Olding added: “A good relationship with the local council is vitally important to the success of the Eisteddfod, and this was certainly true with Monmouthshire County Council, which decided from the start that the festival would be a great success.  We thank the council for its co-operation and vision throughout our journey, from the first discussions over a decade ago until the very end of the project.”

Mr Olding’s report drew attention to the hundreds of activities and events organised across the county in the approach to the Eisteddfod, and the sum of £300,000 raised for the Local Fund with the support of the county council.  The Proclamation Festival held in brilliant sunshine in Caldicot in June 2015 gave the Severnside area a taste of the Eisteddfod and the ceremony in the castle grounds with a town centre performance stage were well-received.  Hundreds of local people and visitors enjoyed a fantastic atmosphere.

The report thanked the county council for its organisation of the park and ride facilities around Abergavenny which meant traffic flowed freely around the town and gave a special mention to the team of friendly drivers who were “brilliant during the week”.  Also mentioned was the part the council played in communications campaigns to raise awareness and attract local residents to the festival.

This year was the first time the National Eisteddfod had been held in the county for over a century.  Council leader Peter Fox said: “I’d like to thank the many people who contributed to the success of the Eisteddfod from the willing volunteers to the National Eisteddfod Council itself chaired by Frank Olding with whom we developed a fruitful relationship.  We were delighted to welcome Eisteddfod-goers to Monmouthshire and we look forward to them visiting the county again.  Many people commented on how the setting lent itself to such a successful week and a magnificent atmosphere.  Even the weather contributed to such a brilliant time by providing us with warm sunshine!”

Councillor Phil Hobson, cabinet member with responsibility for the Welsh language added: “The success of the 2016 Monmouthshire and District National Eisteddfod proved that we could host such an event in an area less traditionally associated with the Welsh language.  We received huge support from both Welsh and non-Welsh speakers and the legacy of the Eisteddfod has resulted in a surge in demand for people keen to learn yr iaith Gymraeg/the Welsh language.”

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