'Amman Valley could be home of National Eisteddfod'
6:00am Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
BOLD plans are being drawn up to make an Amman Valley opencast site the permanent home of the National Eisteddfod, the Guardian can reveal.
Supporters of the move say East Pit, near Gwaun cae Gurwen, could form the centrepiece of a ‘cultural and economic hub’ in the Valley, leading to the creation of hundreds of jobs while also helping to halt the decline of the Welsh language.
Brynaman-born broadcaster Roy Noble is currently leading a committee to consider the merits of the National Eisteddfod travelling around the country each year compared to the possibility of a handful of permanent locations throughout Wales.
But Plaid Cymru politicians have this week written to First Minister Carwyn Jones pressing the case for the Amman Valley should it be decided the Eisteddfod requires a more permanent base.
The plans also include a holiday village centre, conference centre, tourism college and the upgrading of the Amman Valley Railway as a passenger line.
Local AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas said he understood both sides of the argument, but backed the plan.
“The proposal to create a cultural and economic hub in the heart of the Amman Valley is our way of prioritising our local communities and can only be a good thing for the south west Wales economy,” he added.
And MP Jonathan Edwards said the East Pit site ticked all the necessary boxes.
“The site is a substantial size and offers direct rail links with exciting possibilities for future passenger services,” he said.
“What better symbol of the renaissance can there be than to turn an old mineworks into the vineyard of the language?
“As a gateway to the Brecon Beacons, the Amman Valley has the potential to become a fantastic tourism hotspot.”
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