Pembrokeshire is to help pay for a major new conference centre and exhibition hall at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells as part of its role as feature county for the event’s 2019 centenary year.

As the Pembrokeshire feature county committee kick-starts its fundraising campaign, plans for where that money will be spent have been unveiled.

The new facility will be a joint project paid for by money raised by other regions in their year as feature county, says county secretary Geraint James.

“This building will replace the horticulture marquee which costs £60,000 to erect and wire every year,’’ he explained.

It will be positioned by the main ring and will double as a space for trade stands during the Winter Fair.

The building will also include offices to replace the current headquarters of the Royal Welsh Agriculture Society which is ageing and has outgrown its current requirements.

The Royal Welsh Show is the biggest four-day show in Europe, bringing together Welsh and non-Welsh speakers and people from the countryside and towns.

It will be the fifth occasion that Pembrokeshire has been feature county; the first was in 1966 when Edward Bibby of Upton Farm, Cosheston, was president. It repeated this is 1979, presided over by Lady Marion Phillips, of Picton Castle, and in 1991 with Peter Perkins of Mathry as president. In 2007, chartered surveyor Edward Perkins was president.

The feature county initiative began in 1963 and for several years the money raised by those counties went into a central fund.

But by the time Pembrokeshire was feature county in 1979 that had changed and it collaborated with other counties over a three-year period to provide the main ring grandstand. In 1991 the money raise helped to pay for the Hafod y Hendre building, again a joint project, and in 2007 it provided the main ring commentary tower.

Pembrokeshire will hold its first fundraiser for the 2019 event, on February 18, with a Sunday lunch at the Pembrokeshire County Showground.

The guest speakers will be retiring NFU president, Meurig Raymond, and Brian Harries, and there will be entertainment by soprano, Jessica Robinson.

There are many more fundraising events and initiatives planned for the next 18 months, with support from the Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion committees and also on a national level.

“By holding local events and large county events we can spread the fund raising out to keep the momentum going,’’ said Mr James.

“There has been a tremendous response from the 12 YFC clubs in the county. They will work with our Youth Group to organise some events on their own and on a joint basis.’’

Ahead of the February 18 fundraiser, the committee has unveiled its logo, which features the Pentre Ifan cromlech. It is coloured with green to reflect Pembrokeshire as a grass growing county, brown plough lines to illustrate the arable sector and yellow for the sandy beaches. The lettering is in gold because 2019 will be the 100th year the show has taken place.

Tickets for the launch lunch are available from feature county committee members and Geraint James, who can be contacted on 07792 162371.