By Claire West

With the eyes of the world on Wales as the Ryder Cup gets underway, the Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones outlined the way forward for Wales as an events destination with the launch of Wales’ first Major Events Strategy.

The Strategy will build on opportunities arising from the Ryder Cup to create Wales' first co-ordinated and systematic approach to delivering and hosting future major events.

In launching the strategy, the Deputy First Minister outlined the successes that Wales has had in hosting major events, from the Rugby World Cup in 1999 to the summer’s successful BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend at the Faenol Estate in Bangor as well as long standing signature events such as the National and Urdd Eisteddfodau; Hay Festival; Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and The Royal Welsh Show.

The Deputy First Minister said:

“We now have a sound platform on which to build Wales’ position in a fiercely competitive global market. We want to see further growth and innovation. Our Economic Renewal Programme in the Assembly Government fully and clearly recognises the importance we attach to Major Events and the key role played by the creative industries more widely.

This Major Events Strategy is our guide to action so that the whole of Wales reaps the rewards offered by the events industry.

Hosting the Ryder Cup has demonstrated that we can challenge historic traditions which may have held us down in the past, and Wales is now delivering the Ryder Cup on behalf of a continent, and going forward we will work with Welsh, UK and International Federations to realise the huge untapped potential that remains in other sporting events as well as in artistic and cultural genres.

The strategy will focus on supporting four types of events Major Events, Signature Events, Mega Events and Growth Events, all of which will be assessed for support in line with the Assembly Government’s One Wales Agenda.”