AT LEAST two major projects could come to fruition in Cardigan in 2010 to make the year a really special celebration of the town's 900th anniversary.

Cardigan is now on the shortlist of venues to host the Urdd Eisteddfod in that year, it was announced this week .

And news has also just been released that the project to finish renovations on the Guildhall has been awarded significant funding, which could result in a grand official re-opening of the building early in 2010.

Mayor, Cllr Melfydd George told town councillors: "The organisers of the Urdd have confirmed that one of the sites they looked at in Cardigan is on their shortlist of three or four in Ceredigion. It is understood that the owners of the land are willing to be involved."

Cllr George is also chairman of the town's 2010 committee, which is currently working on plans for a year of events to celebrate the 900th anniversary.

He told the Tivy-Side: "This is wonderful news about the Urdd Eisteddfod. We have passed the first milestone now. 2010 will be a very important year for the town and we will have to work hard to make it a great success. If the Urdd comes here it would be a great thing for us."

The shortlist is due to be approved in a month and there will be a final decision in September or October.

News that the Cardigan Building Preservation Trust has been awarded a grant of nearly £262,000 from the Welsh Assembly towards Phase 3 of renovation work at the Guildhall was also welcomed this week. And Cadw has also confirmed it will be offering grant support.

"This is great news and we expect to hear from the Big Lottery by the end of March about a decision on our bid for nearly £500,000, which we also need to complete all the work," said BPT chairman Alan Wilson.

He added that if all the funding bids are successful Phase 3 work on the historic building could begin towards the end of this year.

"It will take about a year to get it all done and really finished off. So we could have a grand opening for 2010," he said.

Structural work is ongoing now and Phase 3 of the Guildhall project will involve all the internal refurbishment and finishing of the multi-purpose community centre, which is used by about 100 groups.