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Rural confidence is on the up; Tourism boosts farm economy after crisis of foot-and-mouth.


TOURISM in Wales is steadily climbing back to pre2001levels when the foot-and- mouth crisis hit the industry hard,it was revealed at the show.

Confidence and investment levels were rising, co-inciding with improved fortunes in agriculture Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) chiefs said.

Near- record crowds at the Royal Welsh Show and a string of significant announcements contribute to the feel good factor.

The recovery was hailed as good news by Welsh Assembly economic development minister Andrew Davies.

Steps to revive the tourism industry, which is worth pounds 20m to the Welsh agriculture economy alone, were taken by the Welsh Assembly as soon as the crisis had been brought under control.

The Welsh Assembly made pounds 5.2mavailable to help stimulate and revitalise the rural economy following the foot-and-mouthoutbreak. In the past two years Adfywio has allocated pounds 3.1m to more than 130 projects all over Wales.

CCW recreation director Gareth Roberts said: ``The high demand for Adfywio support has clearly demonstrated that the tourism industry of Wales has the confidence and energy to go beyond recovery and to build for the future. Adfywio has stimulated much investment from businesses.

``That so many projects have come forward is both a testament to the tenacity of tourism businesses in rural Wales and that a real opportunity for economic growth exists.''

Projects aided by Adfywio included a scheme to improve facilities at Melin Llynnon, the only working windmill in Wales,at Llanddeusant in Anglesey.

``Schemes to build a footpath around the Lloen peninsula and off road cycling opportunities in the Clwydian hills are also part of the Adfywio scheme. The biggest share of the grants awarded, 37pc,have been made to projects in North Wales,'' said Mr Roberts.

Visiting the Royal Welsh Show Welsh Assembly Economic minister Andrew Davies: ``I am encouraged that the tourism industry in Wales is going from strength to strength and that the support has helped the rural tourism sector in particular look forward to a promising future.''

CCW officers hope Adfywio will continue as a new,long-term scheme from next April.

Near record crowds at the Royal Welsh Show also indicate the rural economy is recovering.

Yesterday, traditionally the busiest day, more than 59,073 people passed through the gates.

Assistant show director Haydn Jones said 1,000 companies and individuals had stands on the show ground this year.

Llangollen Young Farmers, who were representingClwyd,put their backs into their entry in the inter-county tug-of-warGeraint Williams in action in the all-Wales sheep shearing competition


WEDNESDAY JULY 24... the day in pictures by Robert Parry Jones; Gwyn Jones of Fronarth Stud,Pennant,near Aberystwyth, with Fronarth Showman, who came second in the Welsh Cob section C classes; Teifion Davies of Gwenllian Stud,Blaengwenllan,Henllan,Llandyssul with Gwenllian Sali, who won the supremeCob championship; FitzHugh Championships winners Eirian Griffiths of Llangybi with Eirianfa Caryl,and Martin Stewart of Colwyn Bay with Mynydd William the Second
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 24, 2003
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