Urdd London 2012 first 'county' eisteddfod beyond Wales

Performers at the Urdd Eisteddfod
Image caption The Urdd has seen an increase in competitors from outside Wales for its annual youth festival

The Urdd Eisteddfod, one of Europe's biggest youth festivals, is to hold one of its preliminary events outside Wales for the first time next year.

The youth movement, which has 50,000 members and 900 branches, has seen an increase in competitors from outside Wales, including England and Singapore.

A chapel near the Barbican in London is to host the "county" eisteddfod.

The Urdd Eisteddfod is being held in Snowdonia in 2012 with events including dance, singing and acting.

The director of the Urdd, Aled Siôn, told BBC Radio Cymru that the organisation had to react to the increase in the number of competitors from outside wales.

If competitors are successful in the "county" eisteddfod in London, they will then qualify to compete in the Urdd's national eisteddfod, he said.

The Eryri Urdd Eisteddfod in 2012 will be held in the grounds of Coleg Meirion Dwyfor college at Glynllifon near Caernarfon.

The event is expected to attract around 100,000 visitors and 15,000 competitors.

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