Wales' largest youth organisation, Urdd Gobaith Cymru, reveals economic impact

Urdd gobaith cymru credit
Residential centres like Llangrannog and Glan-Llyn are said to have generated a combined total economic value of £7.9 million within their communities.  Credit: Urdd Gobaith Cymru

Urdd Gobaith Cymru, Wales’ largest youth organisation, has today revealed its impact on the Welsh economy. 

In newly released data, the Urdd is said to have contributed almost £45 million to the Welsh economy in 2022-23. 

The new report was published in an event at the Urdd’s Residential Centre in Cardiff Bay on Wednesday. 

According to the report, the Urdd has seen substantial growth over the past five years with its economic worth increasing from £25.5 million to £44.9 million. The organisation has also reported a turnover of £19.6 million compared to its previous £10.2 million.

The Arad Research report highlighted some of the key benefits to local communities, for example the residential centres are said to have generated a total economic value of £7.9 million within their communities. 

Sports activities have also had a profound impact, generating an economic value of £6.1 million in Wales. 

The Eisteddfod yr Urdd is said to attract around 90,000 visitors as one of Europe's largest touring youth festivals. Credit: Urdd Gobaith Cymru

The data has also revealed that for every £1 of income received, the ‘Eisteddfod yr Urdd’, an annual Welsh-language youth festival, produced an economic value of £6.96.

With youth work at its heart, the Urdd is a keen employer of young people with 42% of its 362 employees under the age of 25 years.

They have also seen a 109% increase in new Apprenticeships per year since 2018, with 80% of those who complete the scheme receiving employment by the organisation.

A key takeaway, according to Arad Research, is that the Urdd has provided a positive impact on the lives of young people across Wales, as well as their attitudes towards not only the country, but the Welsh language.

The Urdd's residential centres in Llangrannog, Glan-llyn and Cardiff provide accommodation and activities for children across the country. Credit: Urdd Gobaith Cymru

Siân Lewis, Urdd Gobaith Cymru’s Chief Executive said: "Research company Arad were commissioned to assess the Urdd’s economic value to Wales, and it’s fair to say that we are very pleased with the figures.

"The Urdd’s aim is to provide experiences and activities through the medium of Welsh for children and young people in Wales, but this report demonstrates that we go way above our aims by generating jobs and wealth for the economy of Wales.

“With 362 members of staff, the Urdd is one of the largest Welsh language employers and the main provider of apprenticeships through the medium of Welsh within the third sector in Wales.

Employing 362 members of staff, 42% are under 25. Credit: Urdd Gobaith Cymru

"Today’s economic value of £44.9 million shows that a third sector organisation that operates through the medium of Welsh can succeed in creating an economic impact together with a positive influence on the Welsh language.

“In this challenging economic climate, we appreciate that every organisation receiving public money needs to demonstrate value for money and I am pleased that this report clearly shows our impact on Wales.”

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “I want to thank the Urdd for the contribution they’ve made to the Welsh economy for over a century.

"Their efforts support our ambition towards a fairer, greener, and more prosperous Wales – all whilst having Cymraeg at the core of everything they do.”

Attending the event at the Urdd’s Residential Centre in Cardiff Bay, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden added: “This report demonstrates the importance the Welsh language, culture and sports can have on our economy.

"As we back young people to achieve the ambitious futures they deserve in Wales, the Urdd continue to nurture the workforce of the future.”

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