THOUSANDS of visitors from around the world are set to bring up to £8 million to the Montgomeryshire economy when they descend on the region for one of the biggest cultural gatherings in the world.

The National Eisteddfod of Wales Montgomeryshire and the Marches, kicks off on Saturday, August 1, running to Saturday, August 8, at Meifod and is predicted to attract up to 150,000 visitors across the week.

The Eisteddfod exists to promote culture and the Welsh language, and includes hundreds of events and activities aimed at all ages and interests.

Gwenllïan Carr, head of communications, said that an independent survey carried out predicts that the Eisteddfod will bring between £6 and £8 million to the region.

She said: “Lots of that money will be spent in hotels, shops, cafes and hospitality.

“We have got over 800 caravans arriving and many people venture into towns or go out in the evenings. You can get tickets on the gate and we expect Wednesday and Friday to be particularly busy.”

Events and competitions will run alongside a mix of music, literature, dance, theatre, visual arts and much more.

Held alternately in north and south Wales, the festival is also a two year long community project, bringing communities together, organising workshops for young people and providing opportunities for people to volunteer and learn new skills within their local area.

Ceri Stephens, from the Mid Wales Chamber of Commerce, said: “Hosting an event such as the National Eisteddfod of Wales is great for Meifod, the surrounding towns and Mid Wales as a whole, as it helps to put the region on the map with many visitors coming to the area for the first time.

“We are particularly impressed with the way that local businesses have responded to the Eisteddfod, with many taking the opportunity to have a stand to help promote themselves. 

“It is also positive to see Powys County Council using this opportunity to help promote the area by inviting local food and drink producers to showcase their products in Y Pantri and at the council’s stands.

“With thousands set to attend the Eisteddfod, we hope that people will also take time to leave the Maes and explore the local area as it will help encourage repeat visitors, attract further spending and provide a welcome boost to the local economy.”

William Powell, Assembly Member for Mid Wales, said that the event would be great for tourism in the region with people coming from all over the world to the region

He said: “I’m looking forward immensely to the Montgomeryshire and the Marches National Eisteddfod.

“I have visited many eisteddfod events over the last few years and the Meifod one has got to be my favourite. It is hugely important for us culturally and the history of Wales.

“In terms of tourism it will bring thousands of pounds into the local economy with people staying in the local bed and breakfasts, hotels and then visiting the local towns and villages.

“I would also like to give a very strong message of welcome to over-seas, the rest of the UK and further afield.”