Daily Post North Wales – News – North Wales News – Gwynedd hails huge return on backing events like Big Weekend

Gwynedd hails huge return on backing events like Big Weekend

Sep 14 2010
by Eryl Crump, Daily Post


Radio 1’s Big Weekend at the Faenol Estate near Bangor

THE Big Weekend, Radio 1’s major music festival, boosted the Gwynedd economy by £3.5m a report reveals.

Gwynedd Council invested £75,000 towards supporting the two-day event staged at the Faenol estate last May.

Smaller sums invested in other major events helped boost the economy further, Gwynedd Council’s Head of Economy and Community Department Sioned Williams said.

In a report to the council’s Development Scrutiny Committee, meeting in Caernarfon today, Ms Williams reveals £115,600 has been spent in supporting events in the past two years while the total benefit amounts to £9,787,700 (see panel). The figures would have been higher but because of poor ticket sales the Faenol Festival, due to have taken place over August Bank Holiday weekend, was cancelled for the second successive year.

Now Ms Williams wants councillors to scrutinise the council’s support to major events.

She said: “Over the last 10 years a number of major events have been attracted to Gwynedd and the council has supported some of these events financially or by providing officers’ time and expertise.

“It is estimated these events have contributed millions of pounds to the county’s economy: we aim to develop a strategic framework and a clear operational structure to attract and support further events.”

Events supported have included the Iron Man triathlon in Llanberis, the National Eisteddfod at Bangor and Bala, Wales Ryder Cup Senior Golf tournaments at Harlech and Nefyn and the North Wales Summer Pops at the Faenol, Bangor. She added as part of its vision to attract and strengthen major events the Assembly has created a team to attract and develop such events.

“The Assembly has invested in events in Gwynedd already: we are very eager to develop a strong relationship with this unit,” she said.

Officials are hoping to arrange an early meeting with Universal Music and the Faenol Festival Trust to discuss the best way forward regarding the Faenol Festival.

Ms Williams added: “The council had agreed to invest £25,000 to support the Faenol Festival as the event would have directly benefited the county’s economy by £1.5 million. Unfortunately, because of poor ticket sales, organisers decided to cancel: no funding was released.

“As attracting major events to the county has been identified as one of the council’s strategic priorities there were funds available. Because of the organiser’s decision that money will be used to realise the council’s other strategic aims.”

Opinion – Page 8



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