THIS year's National Eisteddfod has been hailed as a success, despite making a financial loss.

Although bad weather forced the closure of Maes B at the end of the week, the Conwy County National Eisteddfod proved to be a great success.

With an excellent number of competitors and the pavilion full for most of the week, the choral competitions in particular will be remembered as some of the best in recent years.

People flocked to Llanrwst from all over Wales and beyond on the first weekend and the festival proved to be extremely popular throughout the week, until the final weekend, when the wind and rain arrived.

Organisers were forced to shut Maes B and the campsite to ensure the safety of the hundreds of young people staying on-site.

This, and the Eisteddfod’s decision to pay all the artists and refund those who had bought tickets for the weekend in Maes B, affected the festival’s finances greatly.

Due to this, the Conwy County Eisteddfod failed to deliver a surplus as organisers had hoped.

Announcing the financial loss of £158,982, Eisteddfod Court president and chair of the management board, Ashok Ahir said, “It’s important that the success of the Conwy County Eisteddfod is not overlooked due to the bad weather at the end of the week.

“Nobody wants to announce a loss after a festival which was a success in so many ways, but this is what we have to do.

"Saying that, it’s important that people realise why we incurred a loss this year.

“Yes, we had some additional expense on the Maes at the end of the week to ensure the health and safety of our visitors, and to make sure we had ample car parking available.

"A number of other festivals across the UK had to be cancelled or close due to the weather, but I’m pleased that our forward planning enabled us to keep the Maes itself open.

“And no-one can disagree with the difficult decision we as a board had to take following discussions with the emergency services and our partners, to shut Maes B.

"The weather forecast was extremely dangerous at the end of the week, and we had no choice other than to cancel.

“This, in essence, is responsible for the majority of the financial loss.

"Naturally, a festival like the Eisteddfod cannot afford to face a loss like this, and therefore, our corporate priority for the next few years is to raise money to replenish our central funds.

“We must remind everyone that this loss will not be carried over to the Ceredigion Eisteddfod or the Llyn and Eifionydd festival. Our central funds will cover the costs without expecting future Eisteddfodau to pay for the effect of the bad weather in Conwy.”

Conwy county National Eisteddfod executive chair Trystan Lewis was keen to pay tribute to all the work at grassroots level, which raised almost £400,000 for the local fund.

He said: “I cannot thank the people of Conwy county enough for their work, enthusiasm and friendship over the past two years.

"Nothing was too much trouble. It was a great honour to lead a team which worked so hard to make the festival a success.

“From the creation of the committees until the final voluntary shift on the Maes in the rain, I, and the Eisteddfod as a whole, are hugely grateful to every single person who was part of the project.

"You laid the foundations for a wonderful festival, and today’s news cannot dampen this in any way. Thank you.”

Eisteddfod chief executive Betsan Moses added: “Many people have said that the Conwy County Eisteddfod was a memorable week.

"The weather may have beaten Maes B at the end of the week, but the festival itself carried on.

"We managed to continue with the fantastic programme of events which had entertained so many visitors during the week, ending with Dafydd Iwan performing on the pavilion stage.

“This was a week which managed to combine the traditional and the new, which showcased ambitious shows like Myrddin ap Dafydd, Gwyneth Glyn and Twm Morys’ Y Tylwyth, and allowed us to re-discover Kate Roberts’ classic, Te yn y Grug, through the eyes of Karen Owen and Cefin Roberts, with songs by Al Lewis.

"It was a wonderful week, a chance for the thousands of visitors who flocked through the gates to create lifelong memories, as we celebrated our language and culture together.

“Thank you to everyone who was part of the organising, to the young people who were so polite and understanding when we had to shut Maes B, our volunteers and to the staff, who worked so hard throughout the week to make sure that the Conwy County National Eisteddfod was able to remain open until the final Saturday night.”