The future of Cardigan’s celebrated Barley Saturday may hinge on whether a grant application to Ceredigion County Council is successful next month, the Tivyside has learnt.

Last month’s traditional parade of horses and vintage vehicles was overshadowed by fears that increased fees governing health and safety restrictions could mean the end to an event dating back to 1871.

Tivyside Advertiser: Concentration on the parade run.

But local councillor Clive Davies is now pinning his hopes on a grant application – ‘worth several thousands’ – to local action group Cynnal y Cardi, the outcome of which will be known in June.

Run by a team of project officers employed by County Hall, the group’s stated aim is to ‘bring together a diverse range of local stakeholders to act as an advisory group to Ceredigion County Council in achieving outcomes for Ceredigion residents, communities and businesses’.

Tivyside Advertiser: Shetland on parade

Cllr Davies has now disclosed that he and Cardigan Town Council clerk Eleri Maskell have been working on a grant application which was submitted last month.

“Worth several thousands, it would allow us to get the necessary equipment to support any large event in and around Cardigan,” he said.

“This would include not only any future Barley Saturday, if it does continue, but also the annual Small World Theatre Lantern Parade Carnival and events in our linked communities such as this year’s Gwyl Fach Aberporth – the first of its kind in the village.”

Tivyside Advertiser: This stallion showed his mettle in the show ring.

Cllr Davies added it has been proposed that the annual road closure costs for Barley Saturday would be covered by Cardigan Town Council’s precept.

“It was, as expected, a very busy day for the town, an event unique to Cardi-gan with its roots deep in its farming heritage.

“According to the analytics system, estimated numbers in the town centre streets exceeded the town population at just over 5,200, peaking between 12pm and 3pm followed by a second smaller surge in the evening for the hospitality economy.

“Tourist/new visitor numbers peaked between 11am and 3pm with about 290.”

“Speaking to owners of hospitality and retail businesses, a number reported good trading before and after the event and the night-time economy also had a boost.

Tivyside Advertiser: Crowds lined the street for the traditional event.

“It was also good to see marketing campaigns from traders across the town using Barley Saturday as a selling point.”

Ceredigion County Council leader Bryan Davies said he hoped the event would continue.

"Barley Saturday provides a reminder to us of Ceredigion's agricultural heritage which continues to be a key sector of our current economy," he added.

"I could clearly see the passion the people of Cardigan have for the event and wider impact it has for the local economy.

“There's been some negative comments about rules and regulations, but we must consider the health and safety of the public and organisers and also not forgetting the animals that makes this day a special event.

“It was a privilege to attend in my capacity as leader of Cyngor Sir Ceredigion and I would appeal to anybody that hasn't attended before to make the effort to see the spectacle that is Sadwrn Barlys.”