Press release: PM welcomes guests to No 10 to celebrate St David’s Day
Theresa May and Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns welcomed people from all parts of the UK including figures from Welsh business, politics, sport, charities and the media.
Guests included Welsh Red Arrows Pilot Flight Lieutenant Mike Bowden; Welsh TV personality Matt Johnson; former Welsh rugby international Richard Parks; Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson; and London marathon runner Matthew Rees, who was made famous last year when he helped a struggling runner get across the finish line.
A number of Welsh companies attended to showcase their produce, including Penderyn Distillery, who produce award-winning single malt whiskies and spirits in Brecon Beacons, South Wales; Cwm Farm Charcuterie, who were awarded first place at the Great British Farm Produce Awards and a gold star from the Great Taste Awards for their laverbread sausage; and Ridiculously Rich By Alana – a company created by winner of BBC One’s The Apprentice, Alana, who started to sell her luxury chocolate to friends and family before attracting the interest of shops in Aberystwyth.
The Culinary Association of Wales also served up a selection of Welsh canapés, and a Welsh choir from Côr y Boro and harpist Rhys Wardhaugh played traditional Welsh tunes.
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
It is always a privilege to celebrate Wales’ national day alongside Welsh people from every walk of life and every part of the country.
Many of the companies who were represented here today are exporting across Europe and around the globe – showing just how much Wales has to offer at home and to the world.
From sport, business, to entertainment and music, the Welsh make their indelible mark in every possible sphere of society. Thank you to everyone who came here today, despite the bad weather, to celebrate the very best of Welsh life and for Wales making the UK the country it is. The nations of the UK each have their own unique characters, cultures and needs – but when we come together as one, we are all the better for it.
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:
Today was an extremely important day for the whole of Wales. Despite the snow, it was wonderful to see so many people from all walks of Welsh life coming together to celebrate, underline and show our respect to our Welsh language, history and culture.
I’d like to thank the Prime Minister for the special emphasis and respect she shows to all four nations of our precious Union, as well as all the guests who made it to Number 10 even with the adverse conditions today.
Alana Spencer, of Ridiculously Rich by Alana, said:
It was a real honour to come to Downing Street today, and the day was made even more special by the fact that it is to celebrate Welsh food on St David’s day. I feel proud to be a food producer based in Wales and it’s lovely to be recognised alongside other incredible food producers from Wales.
Stephen Davies, of Penderyn Distillery, said:
We were thrilled to showcase Penderyn Single Malt at Downing Street on St David’s Day, which is the anniversary of the launch of our Penderyn brand back in 2004. As we are currently targeting a range of new export markets, events like this help give focus to our business and brand in the eyes of our export partners.
Ruth Davies, of Cwm Farm Charcuterie, said:
It was an absolute honour and privilege to be here today and to meet the Prime Minister, and I met some wonderful people who tried our produce. To be given this opportunity as a small producer was just what we needed!