A TOWN is in line for a major economic boost after being unveiled as the host of a prestigious national event.
The cream of talented youngsters from across Wales will descend on the region when the Urdd National Eisteddfod is held in Flint in 2016.
Delighted community leaders have given their backing to the news, made public for the first time at a meeting of Flint Town Council on Monday.
Negotiations to bring the festival to Flint have been ongoing for several years.
Flint town councillor John Hughes said hosting the Urdd Eisteddfod would put Flint “on the national map”.
He said: “It’s about embracing Welsh culture and Welsh heritage.
“This will be about moving forward in the Welsh language and encouraging the use of the Welsh language.
“It’s about celebrating our Welshness and Flint is as Welsh as any town in the Principality.
“This will be a major boost for our town in terms of trade.”
A fundraising scheme to support the event is due to launch in 2013, when the public is also expected to be consulted on its views.
Flint previously hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1969 and Cllr Ian Roberts said the town’s strong rail links were a key factor in its latest winning bid. He said: “I am particularly pleased this is coming to our town. It will raise our profile significantly.”
Cllr Roberts said many people deserve thanks for their efforts, including Flintshire Council chief executive Colin Everett and council leader Cllr Arnold Woolley.
He added: “There is much work to be done in the meantime and we look forward in 2016 to having a successful Urdd Eisteddfod in this town.”
Flint was confirmed as the venue by eisteddfod officials following a meeting in July.
In a letter to Mr Everett, Aled Sion, director of the eisteddfod and arts, wrote: “As you are aware, Flint Town Council has invited the Urdd National Eisteddfod and discussions have been held between the Urdd, the Town Council, Flint High School, other landowners and local Urdd volunteers in order to ascertain the possibilities of staging the event in Flint.
“The Urdd family believe this is possible and welcome the authority’s support on the matter.”
Flintshire Council is due to discuss the news at a full council meeting on September 13.
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