Wales Week London, the largest annual programme of events promoting and celebrating Wales, kicks off this weekend, with some 90 different activities and events taking place in London up to 9th March.
Held for around a fortnight over the period of St David’s Day each year, 2022 is the sixth successive annual programme, and includes events covering business, social enterprise, life sciences and tech, architecture, art, music, film, government and international relations, sport, food and drink, celebrity interviews, entertainment and more.
The 2022 Wales Week London programme builds on the success of the last five years, where a multitude of Welsh celebrities, businesses, sports, food and arts organisations contributed to showcasing Wales to a collective audience in 2020 alone (the last year when there were face-to-face activities) of nearly 14,000, covering 135 events and over 60 different venues across London.
Following a wholly on-line programme of events held in 2021 due to covid, this year Wales Week London events are once again being held face-to-face.
Co-founder and Chair of the Wales Week initiative, Dan Langford is pleased that the programme is once again “back out” and will have a physical presence across the city; he said, “We were delighted that during lockdown last year, our partners and event organisers were still determined to run events and keep the Wales Week momentum building, albeit on-line only; their enthusiasm for continuing to be a part of Wales Week and their ongoing contribution is just incredible, and fundamental to the initiative’s enduring success in show-casing the best of Wales.
“We had nearly 70 events then, and this year the programme has grown again to some 90 events, which is great news; together we’ll be back making some fantastic Welsh noise across one of the world’s leading cities.”
As well as collaborating with many business, arts and sports organisations, the event programme, the largest such programme of celebratory and promotional events for Wales each year, also works closely with Welsh diaspora groups in London and both the UK Government, principally through the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales, and the Welsh Government.
Langford continued, “Wales Week is very much about partnerships; we attract and coalesce the goodwill, imagination and energy of so many wonderful people and organisations under one Wales Week banner, through which we promote them, their brands, their activities, and together generate a huge amount of Welsh noise.
“This drives our purpose of commemorating our national day, celebrating Welsh culture and heritage, and promoting a modern Wales to the rest of the world.”
During the course of recent years, their Wales Week Worldwide initiative has also expanded to other locations around the world; running Wales Week programmes simultaneously, in places like New York, Hungary, Berkshire, Paris, Kansas, Melbourne, Osaka, New England, Tokyo, Dublin, British Columbia, Newcastle, Pittsburgh; and for the first time this year, there will be an new online programme for Wales Week Iran.
Langford adds, “We have a growing number of people around the world interested in joining us to run a Wales Week programme where they are – as with the amazing people already running our Wales Week programmes internationally, we’re reliant on their energy, time and enthusiasm, which they volunteer every year. It’s so humbling to attract such good people to be involved in this way – and by doing so they prove to be tremendous ambassadors for Wales around the world.
“We had planned to also run Wales Weeks in Geneva, South Africa, Birmingham and in other places this year but, primarily due to circumstances related to covid, we just couldn’t pull them off. They are however on course for joining us for 2023, together with other places where we’ve had dialogue with including Malta, Italy, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Singapore, Yorkshire, Patagonia, Norway, Texas, Glasgow amongst others.
“Indeed we’re currently in discussion with the UK Government about scaling the Wales Week Worldwide initiative over the next few years, which we’re really excited about.
“Together we aim to take the best of Wales to the world, and make the most incredible noise as we do so.”
Wales Week London was first held in 2017, and was founded by marketing and communications consultant, Dan Langford, and Mike Jordan, Managing Director of leading branding agency Bluegg.
Mike Jordan said, “We are delighted this year, to once again thank those sponsors who continue to support us, and also to welcome new sponsors such as Call of the Wild, Invest Cardiff, Cardiff Parkway Developments, Wolfberry Cyber Security and British Business Bank.
“And it’s great that Velindre Cancer Centre continues to be our official charity; over the last few years Wales Week has helped to raise some £100,000 for Velindre, and their contribution to the events programme has just been fantastic.”
Wales Week London’s founding partners are Acorn Recruitment, Bluegg, UK Government, and the Welsh Government; other partners include, Burns Pet Nutrition, Cardiff Capital Region, Menzies, Furrer+Frey, Golley Slater, GWR, Hugh James, Hybu Cig Cymru / Meat Promotion Wales, PwC, First of March, The Skills Centre, Penderyn and the Welsh Sports Association.