Next year's National Eisteddfod will be staged in Pontypridd, the largest town in Rhondda Cynon Taf, in August next year.
Ynysangharad Park close to the centre of town will provide a focus for most activities and pavilions, and the Maes will also include parts of the town itself, creating an urban, alternative and exciting Eisteddfod, combining the local area with the festival itself.
Accepting the Italian Trophy, on behalf of next year’s host county, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council leader, Cllr Andrew Morgan, said he was looking forward to an "inclusive, sustainable festival".
He said: “We’re very pleased to announce that Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd will host the Maes for the 2024 Rhondda Cynon Taf National Eisteddfod.
“Pontypridd is a fantastic place to host the heart of the Eisteddfod, and the town’s excellent transport links mean that the Eisteddfod will be accessible for people from Rhondda Cynon Taf and all across Wales.
"We will be looking at how to make sustainable transport key to the Eisteddfod, and with the South Wales Metro on the horizon, Pontypridd will have 24 trains an hour through the station from the Valley Lines and Cardiff. “We want everyone in Rhondda Cynon Taf to show the rest of Wales what makes us so special!
"The Eisteddfod is for you, it’s for me, it’s for all of us. We can’t wait to welcome everyone to Rhondda Cynon Taf next year, and we’re looking forward to seeing more events and activities for residents in the build up to next year’s National Eisteddfod.”
Helen Prosser, Chair of the Rhondda Cynon Taf National Eisteddfod Executive Committee, added: "It’s great to announce that next year’s Eisteddfod will be held in Pontypridd. It’s been the question on everyone’s lips for such a long time, and we realise that the announcement has been a long time coming.
“The initial talks to bring the festival to Rhondda Cynon Taf began back in 2017 and we’re delighted to be able to share the big news with everyone today. And the past few years has been a real partnership between the Eisteddfod and the Council, and we thank Cllr. Morgan and his colleagues and his staff for all the support.
"The fundraising and awareness raising work across Rhondda Cynon Taf is going very well with all the committees busy organising activities of all kinds. There’s a great enthusiasm for the fact that we’re returning to the area which hosted the first modern-day Eisteddfod back in 1861 both locally and across Wales.
"The Proclamation in Aberdare was among the best for many years, with over six hundred local residents joining a procession through the town before everyone came together in a moving ceremony, celebrating the publication of the List of Competitions.
"As we announce that the Maes will be in Pontypridd next year, it’s important to re-emphasise that this Eisteddfod belongs to everyone in Rhondda Cynon and Taf.
"The enthusiasm and energy and friendship we’ve seen as we’ve started working locally shows that bringing the Eisteddfod back to the area has been welcomed across the region.
"Aberdare hosted the last local Eisteddfod back in 1956, and we look forward to creating a wonderful, inclusive and exciting festival in Taf next year, as we visit for the first time since 1893."
The announcement came during a special ceremony on the Eisteddfod Maes as the Leader of Gwynedd Council, Dyfrig Siencyn presented the Italian Trophy to Andrew Morgan.
The Italian Trophy (The Peace Trophy) was presented to the Eisteddfod in 1986, and since then, it has been presented to the host county of the following Eisteddfod every year.
"The cup was given to the Eisteddfod by former prisoners of war from Italy to recognise the kindness of the people of Wales during their time in a prisoner of war camp in Henllan, Ceredigion between 1942 and 1946.
The Rhondda Cynon Taf National Eisteddfod will be held from 3-10 August 2024.
For more information visit www.eisteddfod.wales