Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) has become a centre for media production in recent years. This is driven by audiovisual and specifically film and TV production activities in the region. This report brings the audiovisual sector into the picture and presents first estimations about the size and economic growth and composition of the local film and TV sector.

The audiovisual media sector in the Cardiff Capital Region has become an indispensable factor in the local economy. It has come a long way in the past 15 years to reach this status.

Based on our estimations, in 2005, it engaged only about 2,599 full-time workers, which has almost doubled in the last 10 years. The sector’s performance speaks to the success of CCR’s structural transformation to a knowledge-based economy. According to our data, there are about 1,318 firms active in audiovisual media sector in CCR. These firms together generated a total annual turnover of £545,000,000. The sector employs 4,590 full-time employees locally and we estimate that the total number of freelancers active in the CCR is 2,813.

We have found that CCR hosts the fourth largest audiovisual media cluster of the UK. Only London, its agglomeration and Manchester employ more workers in this sector. CCR’s audiovisual media sector is particularly strong in the motion picture sub-sectors. These include production, post-production and distribution of film and TV. CCR has become the centre of polarity for employment in this segment in the past years. It has attracted one in every eight new jobs created in the UK from 2017 to 2018.

Still, the local audiovisual media sector also faces many challenges. It lacks behind UK average growth patterns in terms of employment and turnover. We have found that this is also due to low productivity levels, which can be explained through a lack of innovativeness and investment into the local sector.

Based on our estimations targeted funding and further incentives into the local sector to increase productivity can create considerable economic growth and make within the next five to 10 years Cardiff into a global hub of media production. Based on its local strength this could generate £255 million additional GVA and almost 2,000 additional workplaces in the AV media sector.