On 31 January 2020, the UK left the European Union (EU). The nature of the future relationship is currently being negotiated. It is already clear that Brexit is an unprecedented political event with potentially significant economic consequences.

While there has been much discussion about certain sectors in Wales (such as fisheries), there has been less attention paid to the impact of Brexit on the creative industries – a key and growing economic sector where Wales has significant strength.

This report examines how a range of creative businesses view Brexit - their hopes and fears, as well as some of the practical business implications.

We found high levels of concern about Brexit’s potential impact among creative businesses in Wales, with four out of five creative businesses expressing concern. 

Graph of levels of concern regarding Brexit among creative businesses in Wales.

Creative businesses have concerns that range from broad economic and structural changes to the practical day to day problems that Brexit may create.

Bar chart of main areas of (potential) impact of Brexit on Wales’ creative businesses.

This briefing sets out key recommendations for UK Government, Welsh Government and creative businesses.

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.