The Cardiff Capital Region City Deal is delighted to be a member of the media.cymru Consortium which has won a £50m bid to develop a world-leading cluster for media innovation in the Cardiff Capital Region.
Led by Cardiff University, media.cymru brings together 24 organisations from across the Cardiff Capital Region and includes partners working in education, broadcasting, technology, media production and local leadership to drive inclusive, sustainable economic growth and an additional £236m in Gross Value Added (GVA) by 2026.
£22m funding is provided through UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) flagship Strength in Places Fund and match-funded by £3m from Cardiff Capital Region and £2m from Welsh Government through Creative Wales.
Since 2006, the Region has developed one of the strongest media sector growth rates in the UK, attracting one in eight of all new UK jobs in film/TV, producing global successes on film and TV shows including Sex Education, His Dark Materials, Doctor Who and Dream Horse.
Responding to the advances made in remote and virtual production during the COVID-19 pandemic, media.cymru will invest in the Region’s digital infrastructure, focusing on emerging technologies, increasing small businesses’ capacity for innovation and addressing skills needs.
Kellie Beirne, Director Cardiff Capital Region City Deal said:
“The success of the media.cymru SIPF bid, securing £22M funding as part of a wider £50M package of investment, is a tremendous acknowledgement of the world-class media industry that’s already been created here in South East Wales – and an indication of the huge potential we have to create best-in-class hubs that are global destinations for innovation. media.cymru should be applauded for bringing together 24 partners from across the Cardiff Capital Region to drive inclusive, sustainable economic growth – and this latest investment demonstrates the providence of the original vision to create 2,000 high quality jobs and an additional £236 million in GVA by 2026.
“This keynote funding will enable media.cymru to invest in the Region’s digital infrastructure and emerging technologies, as well as generating local wealth in the foundational economy through a sector that employs a large number of sole traders and freelancers from all socio-economic backgrounds across the region. As well as a high tech focus, there are also wider opportunities for sites and premises in the quest for studio production facilities – some of which we are starting to see develop already with Dearheart, Dragon Studios, Tiger Bay Studios and many other centres of production excellence. “
A series of industry-led challenge areas to be investigated, including sustainability, bilingual production, diversity and inclusion, tourism and technology will position the Region’s media sector as a testbed for new content, approaches and formats.
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.”
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.