The harness racing association of Ceredigion, Ceredrotian, has successfully secured a grant to promote the sport at national and local level, with an emphasis on attracting new visitors and supporters.
The funding will enable the society to develop a comprehensive new website and promote their work and harness races more widely.
The money was awarded by Ceredigion County Council through the Welsh Government within the Wales Rural Development Plan, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government Fund. Ceredrotian represents four clubs throughout Ceredigion - Lampeter, Tregaron, Tanycastell, and Ceredigion. The application was made in order to develop harness racing and promote tourism in Ceredigion by demonstrating that the sport has a strong and historical tradition in the county. Today, the county hosts some of the most important and leading harness races in the UK and they could potentially have a positive impact on tourism of the area.
Henry Bulman, chairman and director of Ceredrotian, said: "We strongly believe that it is possible to attract more visitors to the races in Ceredigion, especially first time visitors. With this funding, we have appointed local design and communications company, 52°4°, who is currently designing our new website. The website is not only an important resource for racing enthusiasts but also a great starting point for those who are keen to learn about the sport and who may be attending the races for the first time. "
Karen Lowes, director of Ceredrotian, said: "By spending this money in an efficient way to increase our marketing and promotional work, we can attract more people to the races in the county, and with them, more sponsors. This is essential in order to further develop the sport in the county, ensuring it has a positively impact on the local economy and helps boost the national sport in Wales and the UK."
Harness racing was firmly established in Wales in the late 19th century, and the county of Ceredigion has a strong tradition of holding races, with an increasing number of people now involved in the sport - from drivers and owners to trainers and sponsors - from the north to the south of the county, the races are held throughout the summer.