THE Denbighshire Urdd Eisteddfod has been postponed for yet another year. 

The leading Welsh language youth organisation has decided to postpone the prestigious event until summer 2022 amid fears over the continued the health and safety risk posed by the spread of Covid-19.

The festival had originally been expected to attract as many as 90,000 people to the area in a boost for local businesses.

The Carmarthenshire Urdd Eisteddfod will now move to 2023 and the Montgomeryshire Urdd Eisteddfod Maldwyn to 2024.

Gwenno Mair Davies, chair of the Urdd Eisteddfod and Arts Board, said, “Everyone involved in the Eisteddfod – from competitors to teachers, supporters, stallholders and volunteers alike – are longing to return to the festival.

"Despite this disappointing announcement today we must remain positive and look forward to 2022, when the Eisteddfod will be held in Denbighshire during the Urdd’s centenary year.

"There is no doubt it will be a festival to remember, and those associated with the preparations deserves nothing less."

The Urdd said it hopes to organise and stage an alternative Eisteddfod in 2021 based on its first-ever digital festival this year, which attracted over 6,000 competitors.

Organisers said they are in "continuous discussion" with Urdd partners and final plans including school competitions are expected to be announced by the end of January.

The postponement comes as the Urdd faces the biggest challenge in its 98-year history, being forced to halve its workforce and close its three centres which attract over 40,000 visitors annually.

“The decision to postpone for another year was not an easy one to make,” said Siân Eirian, acting director of the Urdd Eisteddfod. “But unfortunately, given the current situation we are in, it was felt there was no real alternative.

"Under normal circumstances, very soon into the new year, schools, Urdd youth clubs and households alike would be busy preparing for the local and regional Eisteddfodau. But the current restrictions in place would make it almost impossible for our contestants to prepare for these preliminary rounds, let alone stage them.

“The decision had to be made as soon as possible for the sake of our competitors and their teachers, but also with regards to organising and contractual work with stakeholders and companies who play key roles in the planning and the set-up of the annual festival.

“I am fully aware of the disappointment today’s announcement brings to the volunteers in Denbighshire who have worked so tirelessly, not to mention the children and young people who were looking forward to returning to compete on stage.

“Circumstances permitting, we look forward to welcoming the Eisteddfod to Denbigh in 2022, which also falls on the Urdd’s centenary – which will make it an extra special occasion.”