6th November 2001

Attracting Events such as the Ryder Cup to Wales

Q7 Alison Halford:

What lessons can the Assembly learn from the recent successful Ryder Cup bid in order to continue to attract valuable events like this to the rest of Wales in the future? (OAQ13630)

The First Minister:

The Assembly learnt significant lessons not only from the successful Ryder Cup bid for 2010, but also from staging other prestigious sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup—when the Assembly had just been established—and the FA Cup Final. The final round of the Network Q Rally, the world rallying championship, will be held in Cardiff and the forests of north Glamorgan, Gwent and mid Wales at the end of November. There are three drivers in contention for the championship and it will draw hundreds of thousands of people to those forests and Cardiff. There are lessons to be learnt: the primary one being how to form the necessary private-public partnerships to get such events off the ground. They are not matters for the private sector or public sector alone. The main lesson to be learnt is how those sectors can work together.

2.30 p.m.

Alison Halford:

I congratulate you, Rhodri, on the stunning success of getting the Ryder Cup to Wales. However, will you ensure that north Wales golf courses also benefit from the subsequent bonanza, particularly as David Llewellyn, who was the head professional of the course that I played in Delyn, will now take up the prestigious job of chief coach to the Welsh team?

The First Minister:

In the golf world, this success is not regarded as the preserve of the Celtic Manor alone and that was understood in the bid. Wales does not have many championship courses. There is one at Harlech, where there is a championship links course, another at the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club and, I believe a third at the Ashburnham Golf Club in west Wales. Celtic Manor has a non-links course but it is undoubtedly of championship quality. The golf events that were part of the package will be distributed among Harlech, Porthcawl, Ashburnham and one or two other courses. That will continue over the next nine years and probably beyond that time. Harlech benefited this year from hosting one of the sponsored seniors championships. Similarly, Porthcawl hosted the International European Ladies Championship.

David Davies:

What is being done to bring such events into areas such as Monmouth, which has seen many job losses recently? Do you ever see headlines such as these from the local papers—’More jobs gloom in Monmouth’, ‘Thousands lost in Rank Xerox’, ‘Specialist jobs lost in Nimbus as it goes into receivership, more on the way’? Is it not time—

The Presiding Officer:

Order. This question is about the Ryder Cup.

John Griffiths:

Do you agree that the Government of Wales will need to maintain its close and successful involvement in the Ryder Cup bid to continue to ensure maximum advantage to Wales?

The First Minister:

Yes. It is unique in the sense that we have nine years to prepare for it and there will be beneficial publicity over the next nine years and probably the following nine years as well. We shall be working closely with the Irish Government, the Irish Tourist Board and Irish private sector agencies to learn what they are learning four years before us. Ireland will be hosting the Ryder Cup at the K Club, 20 miles west of Dublin, in 2006, while Wales will be hosting the event in the Celtic Manor in 2010. There is a big opportunity for joint Welsh-Irish golf package tourism promotions.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.