Wales Week London, the annual programme of events that celebrates and promotes all things Welsh, expects 2020 to be the biggest yet with some 80 events already confirmed to take place across London promoting Wales around the time of St David’s Day.
At a spectacular ‘best of Wales’ evening, organised jointly with the Welsh Government and BAFTA Cymru, 150 guests drawn from television and the arts, business and industry, sport, media and government, were treated to the best of Welsh food as they heard from BBC One Show’s Alex Jones, Bad Wolf Director Natasha Hale, Welsh Government Director for International Relations Andrew Gwatkin, and Chair of Wales Week, Dan Langford.
Afterwards, guests were invited to An Audience with Taron Egerton, the internationally-acclaimed Welsh actor, who starred in the Kingsman films and the recent Elton John biopic, Rocketman, organised by BAFTA Cymru, with actor Celyn Jones hosting the interview.
The 2020 Wales Week London programme builds on the success of recent years, where a multitude of Welsh stars, businesses, sports, food and arts organisations have contributed to showcasing Wales to collective audiences of nearly 10,000 attendees over the two-week period around the time of St David’s Day.
Already announced to be participating in the 2020 programme are Welsh National Opera, BBC Wales, North Wales Tourism, Football Association of Wales, Nofit State Circus, PwC, Welsh Food & Drink, WRU, Velindre Cancer Centre, BAFTA Cymru, Cardiff Capital Region, Contemporary Cymru, London Welsh RFC, Furrer+Frey, both the UK and Welsh Governments, S4C, the IoD and British Chambers of Commerce, and many others.
Activities will take place in some 50 venues across the city, including at the Houses of Parliament, Guildhall, Mosimann’s Club, Lancaster House, 10 Downing Street, London Welsh Centre, Mall Galleries, The Roundhouse, Borough Market, BAFTA, The Medical Society of London, Westminster Cathedral, Canary Wharf, Paddington and Kings Cross stations.
Eluned Morgan AM, Minister for International Relations & the Welsh Language said, “Wales Week London is an excellent opportunity for us to show exactly what Wales has to offer.
“We’re a country rich in heritage and culture but also with businesses at the cutting edge of technology and a highly skilled and committed work force. We’ve always been an outward facing and globally competitive nation and have long welcomed visitors and inward investors into Wales.
“The Welsh Government will continue to help internationalise our economy and make the most of what our small smart nation has to offer.”
Wales Week London was first held in 2017, and was founded by Dan Langford, Group Marketing Director at leading specialist recruitment firm Acorn, and Mike Jordan, owner and Director of leading branding agency Bluegg.
During February and March 2019, Wales Week Worldwide was also launched; and so as well as in London, Wales Weeks also took place simultaneously in other locations round the world, including New York, Paris, Melbourne, New England, Germany, Ohio, Newcastle and Essex.
In 2020, the number of Wales Weeks taking place world-wide is expected to double, and the founders hope to include Chicago, Toronto, Dubai, Glasgow, Hong Kong, Manchester & Liverpool, Pittsburgh, Doha, Washington DC, Beijing, Dublin, Bangkok, Tokyo, Ottawa among others that are currently in discussion.
A UK Government spokesperson said, “As Wales Weeks gain momentum worldwide, the line-up of fantastic events for ‘Wales Week London’ 2020 is testimony to the appetite to celebrate all things Welsh – our culture, language and businesses – and promote them to an international audience.
“The UK Government in Wales wishes the week every success.”
Chair of Wales Week, Dan Langford said, “We can’t thank the Welsh Government and BAFTA Cymru enough for their support with our launch event – their efforts exemplified perfectly the spirit and success of the Wales Week initiative – everyone working together to celebrate and promote the very best of Wales.
“This has been the common thread ever since we launched about four years ago – Wales Week celebrates our culture and heritage, commemorates our national day, and promotes a modern Wales simply through the amazing contribution of so many wonderful people and organisations.
“From those developing and organising the many activities and events, to those attending these events and engaging through social media, and to our numerous partners and sponsors, including both governments working closely together, and a huge number of Welsh diaspora societies around the world, Wales Week London and the growing number of Wales Week initiatives world-wide, are a culmination of all their positive energy, imagination and immense goodwill.
“Together we are taking the best of Wales to the world, and making the most incredible noise as we do so.”
Co-founder Mike Jordan said, “We are delighted this year, that we not only thank those sponsors who continue to support us once again, but that we also welcome new sponsors such as University of South Wales, CPMS, Andrew Scott Ltd and The Skills Centre.
“And it’s great that Velindre Cancer Centre continues to be our official charity; in 2019 Wales Week raised some £80,000 for Velindre and their contribution in helping deliver a number of really impressive events was just fantastic.”
Rhian Gibson, Charity Director at Velindre said, “Velindre Cancer Centre is very proud to be the charity of Wales Week London. The partnership enables us to raise awareness of the work the charity does in supporting cancer patients and their families in Wales.
“Funds raised at Wales Week contribute to the vital research and trials conducted at Velindre, which benefits people not only in Wales but across the world.”
Wales Week in London’s founding partners are Acorn Recruitment, Bluegg, UK Government, Welsh Government; and other partners include Andrew Scott Ltd, BBC Wales, Burns Pet Nutrition, Cardiff Capital Region, Circle IT, Cooke & Arkwright, CMPS, Furrer+Frey, GE Aviation, Golley Slater, GWR, Hugh James, Keolis, Meet in North Wales, Principality Building Society, PwC, Resource Ltd, S4C, The Skills Centre, Tom Simmons Tower Bridge, University of South Wales, and the Welsh Sports Association.