The creative industries play a key role in the development of the Welsh economy.

This report aims to begin to map the overall strength of the creative industries in Wales, so that we might begin to tell the story of a creative nation and an emerging and significant media cluster in its capital city. 

The creative industries are not only an important pillar for economic growth and a way of re-shaping the local economy, they are the nation’s storytellers, representing and promoting Welsh culture, Welsh talent and the Welsh language.

We have estimated that there are more than 8,000 active enterprises and 80,000 people working in the creative industries in Wales.

Creative industry sizes in Wales

The global economy is dominated by large, highly integrated media and technology companies (e.g. Disney, Amazon, Comcast). At the same time, 98% of enterprises in the Welsh creative industries are small and micro businesses. They will need specific forms of support if they are to thrive in a competitive global market.

Professor Justin Lewis, Director of Clwstwr said:

More will be needed if Wales is to move its creative industries from national to international strength.

You can download the full report here: 

The data for this report was collected before the COVID-19 pandemic. It paints a picture of the Welsh creative industries before the disruption caused by COVID-19, which has had a profound impact on many creative businesses and freelancers, many of whom face significant losses in revenue. This report provides a baseline that will enable us, in the future, to make a detailed assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the creative industries in the medium and longer term.

This research report was authored by: 

Marlen Komorowski

Dr Marlen Komorowski, Impact Analyst

Marlen performs the impact analysis of Clwstwr’s interventions (and creative industries more generally) in South Wales. She is also associated as Senior Researcher with the research centre imec-SMIT-VUB (Studies on Media, Innovation & Technology) in Brussels. As a researcher, her work focuses on media and creative industries-related projects, impact analysis, industry clustering, ecosystem and value network analysis, new business models and the impact of the digitisation on industries and firms.


Professor Justin Lewis

Professor Justin Lewis, Director

Justin Lewis, Clwstwr's Director, is Professor of Communication and Creative Industries (and former Head of School) at Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Culture, with a particular interest in news innovation. He has conducted research with many different creative organisations, including the BBC, the BBC Trust, Channel 4, the Guardian, as well as UK and European Research councils. He has published over 100 books, journal articles and chapters about a wide range of media and cultural issues. He is Chair of the Independent Community News Network and Chair of one of the UK Government Research Excellence Framework Panels. Justin's vision for the project is for Wales to become the clever little country that shows how a creative cluster based on SME's, micro-businesses and freelancers can become world leader in creativity.