Adam Price, Member of the Senedd for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr has criticised the Welsh Government on the inconsistency of their regulations for events and attractions over the festive period. This comes after the Light Up Wales event in Golden Grove was forced to be cancelled due to being unable to run financially as a result of Welsh Government event restrictions. Light Up Wales was going to hold a light event around the arboretum in the Golden Grove, and had designed a one-way system of travel over the 11 acre site, employed marshalls, and created purchasable capped time slots in order to ensure appropriate social distancing could be maintained for the duration of a visit.
However, as it was classified under Welsh Government regulations as an Event, and not an Attraction, the organisers, a Llandeilo based company called Fresh Productions, were informed that they would be limited to 30 adults on-site, despite their work to ensure it could be run safely, and despite other events in South Wales like Cardiff’s Christmas at the Castle still being given the green light to continue. This raised a significant concern that there were inconsistencies in the guidance
Adam Price, said: “This is a truly disappointing development and flies in the face of common sense thinking. The team at Golden Grove and Fresh Productions have worked diligently to maximise the safety aspects of this festive attraction, and I completely share their frustrations.
The arboretum is an internationally recognised attraction, and the Light Up Wales plans served to enhance what was already an existing attraction, with build in safety functions that would ensure a safe trip for all. A measured response from the Welsh Government that applied common sense instead of being overly reliant on technicalities would have seen this to be obvious.
The fact that Light Up at the Golden Grove has now had to be cancelled, but other festive events in Cardiff are going ahead, will cause communities in Carmarthenshire to wonder why it is once again one rule for the capital and another rule for us.”
Ben Harding, Director of Fresh Productions, commented “As Light Up Wales, we wanted to give you something to look forward to - a positive end to such a difficult year.
From day 1 we have been in close conversation with CCC and the Welsh Government to ensure that at every stage we were adhering to Government Regulations to keep everyone safe.
Despite many positive conversations over the previous few months with both the Welsh Government and CCC a decision has now been made that Light Up cannot proceed this year. We have been given no choice but to close the attraction down.
We are absolutely gutted that it has come to this, and have tried everything to adhere to every rule and regulation. Unfortunately it would seem that despite our best efforts, the fear of further spikes has meant that we are just another attraction that cannot go ahead this year.
We are overwhelmed with the response that we have had since we announced Light Up last month, we cannot thank our patrons enough. We are also very grateful for the support of Gelli Aur, CCC and Adam Price MS who have been a great help during these discussions and fighting our corner.”