Wales Week in London is back – even bigger, louder and more varied – with over 70 activities and events lined up in the UK capital to celebrate and promote Welsh culture, sport, business, food and drink, tech and more.
The initiative, which involves the promotion of a programme of Welsh-related events and promotions taking place over two weeks, from Saturday 24th February to Friday 10th March. Those visiting and living in the capital will not fail to notice how colourful, creative and professional contemporary Wales is, thanks to this popular promotion and celebration of all things Welsh.
Events taking place during the forthcoming Wales Week in London include the 14th Annual St David’s Day Walk that showcases the influence the Welsh in London have had in the capital over time, the St David’s Day mini rugby festival at London Welsh RFC, lunch with the Football Association of Wales and some Welsh international footballers, St John's Cymru Centenary Celebration with the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and a Q&A with BAFTA Cymru and Michael sheen.
Other events in the packed timetable include an event to promote Welsh construction companies, an exhibition of Welsh art, a St David’s Day golf day, a Welsh Comedy Night and various promotions for Londoners to sample delicious Welsh food and drink.
Tonight’s (22nd February) sell-out, opening event, ‘What’s the story?’ held at PwC’s More London office, is a debate hosted by Guto Harri, looking at how Wales is portrayed in the UK media. It’s expected that the 115 people in the audience will help ensure it’s a lively debate!
Meanwhile, Welsh exporters should book their places for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Celebration of Welsh Trade, and other business people, academics and the general public can engage in a whole host of talks, promotions and debates looking at Wales, its place in the world today and its emerging future in areas such as financial services, tech, construction, law, sport, the arts, entrepreneurship, and the creative industries.
Wales Week in London founders, Dan Langford and Mike Jordan have been overwhelmed at the level of engagement and the number of events taking place this year.
Dan Langford, who is also marketing director at Wales’ leading multi-specialist recruitment firm Acorn said: “The response this year from partners, sponsors and those looking to hold an event in London has been incredible – with many more sponsors and more events taking place than last year.
“We can’t thank everyone enough for their incredible enthusiasm and support - from the many event organisers who have worked tirelessly, to all our sponsors and both the Welsh Government and the Wales Office, who have worked with us collaboratively to promote a modern Wales in the heart of London.
“It’s going to be a fantastic fortnight and we look forward to celebrating St David’s Day and creating as much noise Welsh noise in London as possible."
The event is supported by the Welsh Government, Office for the Secretary of State for Wales, Welsh communities currently resident in London and more than 17 sponsors, including Great Western Railways (GWR) and Circle IT, which are the latest sponsors to sign up.
Impressed by the reach and popularity of Wales Week London 2017, Rachel Jefferies spokesperson for GWR said: "We at GWR recognise the value of rail to the national and to local economies, and we are honoured to serve some of the UK's top destinations; allowing people to get to great places. Wales is one such vibrant destination, and we are delighted to be able to work with Wales Week in London to raise the profile of Wales to all”.
Roger Harry, Managing Director of Circle IT said that he wanted to be part of such an enthusiastic promotion of Wales. He said: “As a business working across the UK we are proud to have stayed true to our roots with our headquarters and main operations still based in Cardiff. We work with and support a number of key business based in and around London, and Wales Week in London is the perfect opportunity for us to showcase our heritage whilst supporting the wider objective of raising the profile of Welsh businesses in the capital”.
The list of sponsors include: Acorn Recruitment, Bluegg, Hugh James, Swansea University School of Management, SD Sealants, Furrer+Frey, SaxonAir, GE Aviation, PwC, Cooke & Arkwright, Cardiff Council, Burns Pet Nutrition, Colleges Wales, Welsh Sports Association, Golley Slater, Resources Ltd, WRW Construction, GWR and Circle IT.
Mike Jordan, director of Bluegg, one of Wales’ most established and leading branding and design agencies, said: “it’s going to be an awesome couple of weeks – there’s so much to showcase about our wonderful, modern wales and we’re delighted, that together with our London-based Welsh diaspora, all those running the events and our incredible sponsors and partners that we’re able to promote Wales in London this way”.
Londoners and those visiting the capital over the next fortnight are encouraged to take a look at the whole list of events on the wales Week in London website www.walesweek.london. Places at the events have been going quickly, so people are advised to book fast to avoid disappointment.