Wales Week in London 2019 promises to be the biggest yet with over 80 events taking place across the UK capital to promote Wales and celebrate St David’s Day.
This is the third annual showcase in London promoting Welsh culture, business, sport, tourism, food and drink, and is set to make more noise than ever.
At a reception at Gwydyr House in Whitehall on Monday 3rd December the Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP, Secretary of State for Wales announced a full programme of events to take place across London around the time of St David’s Day; from 23rd February to 9th March 2019.
Leading Welsh figures featuring in the 2019 Wales Week programme include Manic Street Preachers’ frontman James Dean Bradfield, comedian Rhod Gilbert, the Wales national football Manager and former Manchester United great Ryan Giggs, and former Wales and British & Irish Lions rugby captain Sam Warburton. There will also be performances from the Welsh National Opera, Only Boys Aloud and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, as well as other internationally-acclaimed artists.
Representatives from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) will take part in a Question Time style debate; while global businesses PwC and UBS, and other organisations such as BBC Wales, S4C, BAFTA Cymru, London Welsh Rugby Club, and both Welsh and UK governments will also be hosting a wide range of events.
Venues include landmark London institutions such as 10 Downing Street, the Palace of Westminster, the Guildhall, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), the Royal College of Art, the London Welsh Centre and Borough Market.
At the Wales Office launch, attended by leading figures drawn from all sectors of Welsh business, media, government and the arts, the Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns, said:
“As a celebration of Welsh culture and industry, Wales Week in London provides the perfect opportunity to promote the best of Wales to an international audience; and I’m delighted that the UK Government, as one of the founding partners is providing its full backing to Wales Week in London 2019.
“With some fantastic events lined up and a range of impressive organisations involved, once again it will be a great success.”
Ken Skates AM, the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Transport, also a founding partner of Wales Week in London, said:
“Ours is a vibrant country with so much to offer – historically, culturally and of course through our diverse range of businesses.
“Wales Week in London is a co-ordinated promotion of the many things we have to shout about, and showcases a series of activities that celebrate and promote existing Welsh communities in London, providing an exciting opportunity to raise our profile and create a real buzz.”
Wales Week in London was founded, in their ‘spare time’ by Welsh business people Dan Langford, Group Marketing Director at leading specialist recruitment firm Acorn, and Mike Jordan, owner and Director of leading branding agency Bluegg.
During the launch, the founders of Wales Week were also applauded for the announcement of their latest development, Wales Week Worldwide.
The Wales Week Worldwide pack, containing artwork for logos, branding and ideas for events and planning, has been sent to Welsh communities around the world to support them in creating their own Wales Week wherever in the world they may be.
So far they have received responses about running their own Wales Week from Welsh groups in New York, Washington, New England, New Mexico and Los Angeles in the US, and from Welsh societies in Ottawa, Paris, and closer to home in Newcastle, Woking and the Chilterns.
Chair of Wales Week, Dan Langford, said:
“We have been in touch with over 120 Welsh societies from around the world and the feedback we’ve received in only a couple of days has been tremendous.
“Together with the Paris Welsh Society we had already started planning the inaugural Wales Week à Paris for next March, and since we sent our Wales Week Worldwide pack around the world we’ve been approached to develop branding for Wales Weeks in a number of cities and regions across the US, in Canada and elsewhere in the UK.
“To be honest it’s been an intense few months – whilst liaising with our existing partners, we’ve also welcomed a number of fantastic new sponsors for Wales Week in London 2019. And the programme itself has developed brilliantly, with some superb acts, people and organisations all contributing to bring the very best of Wales to London, and in the most exciting and diverse ways possible.
“Wales Week is a collaborative approach – it’s the joint efforts of both governments, amazing sponsors, and a huge range of proactive individuals and organisations all working together to promote a modern Wales in London and to the rest of the world.”
Wales Week in London has chosen Velindre as its designated charity for 2019 and 2020, with a number of fundraising events being held to raise money to support the work of the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. As well as a lunch with Sam Warburton, Velindre activities also include a Question of Sport style event being held at London Welsh Rugby Club, with Wales and England teams captained by international rugby props Adam Jones for Wales and Joe Marler for England.
Wales Week in London’s founding partners are Acorn Recruitment, Bluegg, UK Government, Welsh Government; and other partners including existing sponsors Burns Pet Nutrition, Circle IT, Cooke & Arkwright, Furrer+Frey, GE Aviation, Golley Slater, GWR, Hugh James, Penderyn Welsh Whisky, PwC, Resource Ltd and the Welsh Sports Association. New sponsors include Cardiff Capital Region, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Christ College Brecon, KeolisAmey, Principality Building Society, and Tom Simmons Restaurant.