National Eisteddfod could come to Monmouthshire
THE National Eisteddfod of Wales could be coming to Monmouthshire in three year's time with the council pressing to bring it there for 2016.
Leader Cllr Peter Fox said today: "We are certainly talking to the Eisteddfod Committee about hosting again and if possible we would like to do so in 2016."
Monmouth MP David Davies welcomed the news.
He said: "Welsh is certainly not as widely spoken here but the attitude towards it is very supportive. Although I feel people shouldn't be forced to learn it.
"I would be delighted if the Eisteddfod came to Monmouthshire. It would be a wonderful boost for the area and I would look forward to taking part in proceedings in some way."
Wales' pinnacle of the cultural calendar is currently thrilling crowds in Denbighshire until August 10.
It attracts around 160,000 visitors over eight days, providing a tourist boost for the home county and a national stage for music, dance and visual arts.
The Welsh language is an integral part of the festival, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2011.
The first modern Eisteddfod was held in Aberdare in 1861, and although the competitions, the format and the size have developed, the main aims of the Eisteddfod remain the same.
Cllr Fox said the Eisteddfod would be a coup for the county but the success of the bid depends on finance.
He has previously told members how the cash-strapped local authority faces a greater challenge year by year and earlier this month revealed it must 'at least' double its savings in 2014/15.
Cllr Fox added yesterday: "Monmouthshire has never made a secret of its interest in hosting a Royal National Eisteddfod. The county has a long association with the Eisteddfod with Lady Llanover having been a particularly significant figure in shaping the modern movement. It is exactly 100 years since we last welcomed the event to Monmouthshire when it was held in Abergavenny. “Whether this happens will largely be dependent on securing a site and a financing package that is affordable. If we can make this happen then we will ask full Council to consider a recommendation to host the event.”