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Boost for Welsh language TV as UK Govt commits additional S4C investment

Welsh broadcaster S4C is set to benefit from a cash injection of more than £10m, helping to secure its future,

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  • £10m Government relocation loan for the world’s only exclusive Welsh language broadcaster.
  • 800 jobs to be created, £11m boost to local economy, and new co-location arrangement with BBC Cardiff.
  • £350,000 funding from Government will enable broadcaster to upgrade its equipment.

Welsh broadcaster S4C is set to benefit from a cash injection of more than £10m, helping to secure its future, the UK Government has announced today.

The UK Government has approved a loan of £10 million for the relocation of the channel’s headquarters to Carmarthen, which will create more than 800 jobs in the local area. This cash will also mean that technical facilities can be shared with the BBC in Cardiff, reducing S4C’s overhead costs and increasing its creative pool of talent. And in an independent economic assessment by the University of Wales, it has been revealed that the move will also deliver an estimated £11 million boost to the local Carmarthenshire economy.

S4C, the fourth oldest television channel in the UK, will also receive UK Government funding of £350,000, enabling the broadcaster to carry out a significant upgrade on its technical and IT equipment. This will ensure that the channel is up-to-date, will continue to reach global audiences and remains relevant in an increasingly competitive broadcasting market.

Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said:

We are making Britain a country that works for all, and are committed to securing the future of Welsh language broadcasting. S4C has a proud history of showcasing some of the best of British talent and catering to Welsh-speaking audiences around the world.

S4C has a rich broadcasting history, having carved a stellar reputation for commissioning world-class animation, documentaries and dramas - such as Hinterland and Pobol y Cwm.

This money will not only ensure S4C continues to prosper, but also that the channel is equipped to compete globally.

S4C contributed £114 million to the Welsh economy in 2015/16 and the channel recently reported that its current viewing figures are at their highest point in nine years, attracting 629,000 viewers a week on average. Government wants this success to continue, and as part of Government’s commitment to preserving and giving Welsh language television a global platform, as well as ensuring the sustainability of S4C, it will shortly be launching an independent review of the channel. The review will look at the remit, governance and funding of S4C so that the broadcaster can continue to meet the needs of Welsh speaking audiences in the future and invest in high-quality programming. The additional funding announced today will ensure financial stability throughout the review process.

Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, said:

This investment puts S4C on a secure footing for years to come, guaranteeing TV viewers can continue to enjoy a high quality range of Welsh language TV programmes. The UK Government is absolutely committed to supporting and promoting the Welsh language, and today’s investment is solid proof of that.

There are huge spin-off benefits to Carmarthenshire with hundreds of jobs being created locally and millions going into the region’s economy. I look forward to S4C taking its place at new state-of-the-art studios and entertaining, challenging and informing viewers as part of our national conversation.

Published 20 March 2017