Port Talbot's Passion sparks major tourism boost to local economy
Port Talbot trade has been given a major boost thanks to The Passion play.
Thousands of visitors flocked to the town for Michael Sheen's spectacular open theatre play over the Easter weekend.
Aberavon MP Hywel Francis has hailed the event "a success of global significance" and has also praised the Hollywood actor and those involved with the play in Parliament.
Aberafan Shopping Centre manager Steve Redmore said the event was "phenomenal."
He said: "I have never experienced anything like that all the time I have been working at the shopping centre, which is around 19 years. For Saturday our footfall figure was worth £44,575. Normally on a Saturday the figure's usually £24,000 to £25,000. It has definitely put Port Talbot on the map and you have got to give Michael Sheen credit for that. I was talking to people from Sheffield, from London and someone was talking to someone from America. We were blown away by it all."
Bar Gallois owner Tony Evans said: "Michael Sheen has done Port Talbot proud. I think all the businesses that were en route benefited tremendously."
Neath Port Talbot mayor Lella James said: "The Passion was tremendous and it has been fantastic for the businesses in the town. I have never seen so many people in the town before. I think for the traders it has been a great success."
Yesterday, Dr Francis said: "I am today tabling an Early Day Motion in Parliament congratulating Michael Sheen and the people of Port Talbot on the outstanding success of The Passion play. Those of us privileged to be present were moved by the quality and the scale of the event. I believe it signals a reawakening of confidence in the future of the town."
Extracted from www.bbc.co.uk/news