S4C and Creative Wales have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which aims to support the development of Wales’ screen sector.
At its heart is a shared vision of a sustainable, innovative, resilient and growing sector in Wales. Against a backdrop of a rapidly changing broadcasting landscape, increasing global dominance and ongoing evolution of digital innovations, both S4C and Creative Wales are working to support the development of a dynamic, world-class screen sector in Wales, which is bilingual, representative, fair and inclusive.
S4C and Creative Wales have already been working together since January 2020, jointly supporting the Welsh independent production community. The partnership has also already led to innovative content, including S4C’s new thriller Y Golau (The Light in the Hall) currently filming in Wales and due to be broadcast worldwide from 2022.
Building on the success of drama from Wales and the international appetite for S4C-commissioned originals including Un Bore Mercher (Keeping Faith,) Craith (Hidden,) and Bang, both S4C and Creative Wales are committed to investing up to £1 million each per year for Welsh language film.
The MoU sets out how both parties will work together strategically to ensure added value to the Welsh language screen sector.
Owen Evans, S4C chief executive, said: “We’ve been working with Creative Wales since it launched, and today’s MoU outlines how we will work together in the longer term to support the Welsh TV sector post-Covid and to ensure we target our resources effectively, adding value to wider investment and focusing on the areas of greatest need and return.
“I‘m particularly pleased at our joint commitment to grow Welsh language film. I want S4C to build on its success and to create a world class collection of Welsh film for our audiences in Wales and beyond. And we’re equally committed to working with Creative Wales to grow factual and feature documentary content in Welsh developing the S4C Originals brand.
“To succeed in these aims, S4C’s content must be inclusive and representative, and made by a workforce and sector which reflects the Wales of today. That is why we’re also committing to giving new talent, particularly from under-represented backgrounds a clear pathway and support to become established in the sector, gaining the skills and training to succeed.”
Added deputy minister for arts and sport, Dawn Bowden: “This partnership with S4C helps us to realise our vision for the creative industries which aims to drive growth across the whole sector, developing a skills base that is world class, working towards fair and inclusive working practices, expanding support and positioning Wales as the place to locate a creative business.
“We look forward to working in partnership to ensure Wales’ home-grown Welsh language screen sector can compete internationally as well as satisfy domestic demand. Our vision is a Wales which continues to develop into a world-leading creative nation, whose content reflects our country, on screen and takes our local and national stories to the rest of the world.”
This MoU represents the first steps in formalising an existing partnership between Creative Wales and S4C. Its intention is to build on the positive relationship between the Welsh Government and S4C and the strengthened links forged between both organisations following the launch of Creative Wales in January 2020.