IN the wake of a successful National Eisteddfod, mid Wales has started preparations to welcome the Urdd Eisteddfod in 2024.

Initially, the Urdd Eisteddfod was meant to land in Machynlleth in 2022. However, due to Covid-19, this was delayed. The town and surrounding area are now preparing the welcome the celebrations in 2024.

After crowds descended on the maes at the National Eisteddfod in Tregaron last week, the wheels are in motion in Machynlleth, with an expected footfall of 120,000 during the Urdd Eisteddfod.

On 8 September, a meeting will be held in Glantwymyn Hall, which Cllr Elwyn Vaughan said would provide “an opportunity to begin with the organising and putting together the team of volunteers to drive things forward”.

He added: “The Eisteddfod was held last at Builth Wells and as a result of the success there we saw an opportunity for Machynlleth. Originally it was intended for 2022, the Urdd centenary, but with Covid, the delay to 2024 I’m sure will be equally as successful.

“Machynlleth being in the heart of Wales is easily accessible and will provide a economic boost to the area with circa 120,000 visitors.”

Machynlleth mayor Cllr Jeremy Paige said there is to be a meeting about the event on 12 September, in Machynlleth. He added: “It might be that the event is within the county rather than just here.

“We’ve had no information so I’m hoping I can find out at this meeting.”

While the Urdd Eisteddfod came to Ceredigion in 2010, to Snowdonia in 2012, and Meirionnydd in 2014, this is the first time it will be arriving in Montgomeryshire.

The in-person event was cancelled in 2020 due to the onset of the pandemic, but was broadcast from a temporary studio at the Urdd’s centre in Cardiff Bay and was called Eisteddfod T.

In 2021, the organisers promised an even more innovative digital festival, which was broadcast from a studio set up especially at Llangrannog, with 12,000 competitors taking part virtually.

This year’s Urdd Eisteddfod was held in Denbighshire. It was a particular poignant celebration as it fell on the centenary of the Urdd.

Urdd Gobaith Cymru was established by Sir Ifan ab Owen Edwards in 1922, to protect the Welsh language in a world where the English language dominated every aspect of life outside the home.

In the early days Sir Ifan and his wife took responsibility for all aspects of the organising and administration. All Urdd work took place at their home in Llanuwchllyn, near Bala. By the end of 1923, as a result of their enthusiasm, the number of members rose to 3,000, and by 1927 5,000 young people had become members of the Urdd. The number of Urdd branches also rose to 80 by 1927. In 1924 the first Urdd branch was established in Abercynon in south Wales.