S4C Relocation Would Bring Major Benefits. Let's All Show Support
Byline: Dylan Jones-Evans
THE creative industries, which includes film-making, television production and video games development, are amongst the fastest growing sectors of the Welsh economy, employing over 25,000 people and generating a turnover of more than PS1bn every year.
Only last month, the future economic potential of the sector was demonstrated by the decision of the owners of Pinewood Studios, where films such as the James Bond series have been made, to secure an agreement with the Welsh Government to set up operations in a disused factory in Cardiff.
This follows the BBC's relocation to the old docks area of Cardiff Bay, where the Roath Lock studios at Porth Teigr is now home to programmes such as Sherlock, Doctor Who, Casualty, and Pobol y Cwm. But with such investments being attracted to the capital city, what scope is there for similar developments here in North Wales? Currently, the one glimmer of hope for the creative industries comes in the unlikely guise of S4C, whose chief executive noted, at last year's National Eisteddfod, that he was eager to examine the possibility of further devolving his organisation from Cardiff to other sites across Wales. Since then, two bidders have emerged as potential sites for relocation namely Caernarfon and Carmarthen, although industry experts have told me that if the decision were being made solely on the best place for a creative industries hub outside of Cardiff, then Caernarfon would win hands down. It is already recognised as the major creative hub outside of Cardiff, with the Victoria Dock development centred on the Galeri building home to a number of television and film businesses.
In fact, with independent companies such as Griffilms, Rondo Media, Antena and Cwmni Da already located in the town, it is the perfect location for a major creative industries cluster, building on the success of these award-winning businesses.
And with plans to relocate S4C into existing facilities within the Victoria Dock area if the bid is successful, any move could be done relatively quickly and bring some much needed boost to the town in a relatively short space of time. …