Eisteddfod in Wrexham hit by Japan earthquake aftermath

Disruption caused by Japan's earthquake has led to this summer's National Eisteddfod in Wrexham missing out on thousands of pounds.

Organisers said Toyota and Sharp were forced to withdraw sponsorship leading to a loss of £20,000 to £30,000.

Many Japanese firms have been hit by parts shortages due to damage caused by March's earthquake and tsunami.

The eisteddfod has secured around £370,000 in sponsorship, £30,000 short of its target.

Toyota, which has an engine plant at Flintshire, and Sharp, the electronics giant with a factory at Llay near Wrexham, employ hundreds of workers in the region.

Eisteddfod organiser Hywel Wyn Edwards said: "We had agreements with a couple of large companies like Toyota and Sharp and, at the last minute, they've had to withdraw.

"I never imagined that the earthquakes and the tsunami in Japan would affect the National Eisteddfod but that is precisely what has happened.

"They've reined back on sponsorship because of the problems experienced by Toyota in Deeside with regard to the workers' hours.

"Therefore they have had to withdraw all such sponsorship agreements."

He said £370,000 in sponsorship pledges had been secured, which he added was an "incredible figure".

But the problems in Japan had led to the eisteddfod, which takes place between 30 July and 6 August, missing out on tens of thousands of pounds.

"It's difficult to put an exact figure on it but I'm sure the total amount is in the region of £20,000 to £30,000, not only from Toyota, but from Toyota, Sharp and one of two other smaller companies," said Mr Edwards.

"It's very worrying."

Eisteddfod fundraising committees across Wrexham county have also raised around £210,000 towards their £300,000 target.

Mr Edwards admitted the current economic climate had made their challenge even greater than faced in Blaenau Gwent last year.

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