THE Welsh Government has announced £1.3m to support the Urdd’s recovery and rebuilding following the coronavirus pandemic.

The Urdd is one of Wales’ largest third sector employers, providing a wide range of Welsh-medium experiences and activities for young people aged 8 to 25, helping deliver the aims our Cymraeg 2050 strategy and supporting community, youth and apprenticeship programmes.

The funding will help safeguard key jobs at the Urdd, enabling the organisation to start rebuilding and to create new job opportunities. More than 60 additional staff will be employed to support their communities.

The Urdd has plans to create up to 300 new Welsh-medium apprenticeships over the next three years.

During the pandemic, the Urdd with minimal staff has continued to provide services for young people, including providing services for vulnerable young people at its well-known residential centre Llangrannog.

The Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, said: “The Urdd has played a pivotal role in ensuring children and young people are able to take part in a wide range of social and sporting activities.

“We know how enriching this can be for them and we are grateful to the Urdd for making such a positive contribution to the social development and wellbeing of our children and young people. It has really helped them find their voice.

“This funding will help the Urdd recover and rebuild its provision. I look forward to the Urdd’s centenary next year, when we celebrate its achievements and look forward to another 100 years of the Urdd.”

The minster spoke about the Welsh Government's commitment to the arts during Wednesday's coronavirus briefing from Cardiff.

She said: "Wales is a big player in the arts industry but the last year has been the toughest on record. Because of the virus there have been barely any live performances for almost a year and most creative output has moved online. We all hope that better days are ahead of us and we will soon see live music, theatre and art return to our lives.

"We have seen a range of financial support for the sector. We have made £63m available and includes £20m for freelancers which is unique to Wales."

She added that four of Wales' best loved festivals will be coming together to create a free online festival.

Gŵyl 2021 will see Festival of Voice, FOCUS Wales, Other Voices Cardigan and Aberystwyth Comedy Festival come together.

The music and comedy has been recorded in recent months in Wales and across the world and will be broadcast on the weekend of March 6 and 7.