An ambitious multi-million pound fund forecast to create 2,000 new jobs has been unveiled in Cardiff.
The UK Government has announced that £22.2 million has been awarded to Welsh scheme media.cymru to make the capital a “global hub” and “world-leading cluster” for media production.
In total £50.2 million has been secured by media.cymru through additional investors, with funding also coming from Cardiff Capital Region and £2 million from Welsh Government through Creative Wales.
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The programme, led by Cardiff University, follows the global success of Welsh-filmed film and TV shows including Netflix’s Sex Education, His Dark Materials, Doctor Who and Dream Horse and will bring together 24 media production, broadcast, university and technology partners.
It will also deliver new infrastructure including a “world-class virtual studio”.
By 2026 the programme hopes to create an additional £236million in gross value added (GVA), or the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of the economy. Across five years media.cymru aims to create more firms in the area, leading to 2,000 new jobs.
The five-year programme, due to start in 2022, will also provide further research and development support to businesses so they can find commercial opportunities with new products, services and experiences.
It promises to create “opportunities” for the Welsh media sector in areas including sustainability, bilingual production, diversity and inclusion, tourism and technology.
Since 2006, Cardiff has developed one of the strongest media sector growth rates in the UK.
The media.cymru consortium members are: Alacrity Foundation, BBC, Boom Cymru, Cardiff Capital Region, Cardiff Council, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff Productions, Cardiff University, Channel 4, Dragon DI, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Gorilla TV, Great Point Media, Nimble Dragon, Object Matrix, Rescape Innovation, Rondo Media, S4C, Shwsh, Town Square Spaces, University of South Wales, Unquiet Media, Wales Interactive and Welsh Government.
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “The Cardiff area has long been established as a leading centre of media production, innovation and the creative industries.
“This significant backing from the UK Government will help develop the region still further, driving job creation and growth in both English and Welsh-language media and creating a truly global creative hub for Wales.”
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Professor Justin Lewis, media.cymru and Clwstwr director from Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture, said: “After the devastating impact of Covid-19, the need for digital innovation in the creative sector has never been more critical. So, we are delighted to have received this government funding provided through UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund.
“It builds on the growing success of the media sector in Wales and gives us the opportunity to build on the aims of the Clwstwr programme, which has already helped many businesses and freelancers in the area to grow and develop.
“The media.cymru programme focuses on making the Cardiff Capital Region a global hub for media innovation. It will give SMEs and start-ups working in this exciting area opportunities to collaborate and innovate, building on an integral part of the economy. We aim to support the development of a world-class media sector in Wales that inspires the world.”
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