On behalf of Clwstwr, Panteia analysed Cardiff Capital Region's (CCR) screen sector. The main research object of the study was to provide an analysis of the screen sector in CCR and identify ways to lead its screen sector to national and international leadership in screen production.

As part of the research methodology of this project, comparisons and lessons learned from other screen clusters in the UK and Europe were used to find best practices that could be adapted in CCR. Interviews have been conducted between August and October 2020.

The research finds that CCR is already well positioned as an important and growing regional screen sector, which has a number of key assets available that allow it to become an important national and international centre in the sector. Following significant Welsh Government support and a £1.2 billion investment in the CCR City Deal, media and the creative industries have been identified as one of the region’s key potential growth sectors, likely to boost GVA and increase incomes in an era of global media sector growth.

The recent success of the Welsh screen industry has stretched its ambitions to reaching international audiences (for example, through productions such as Doctor Who, Sherlock, His Dark Materials, A Discovery of Witches, Hinterland and the multi-award winning I am not a Witch by Rungano Nyoni). The latter production represented a turning point in the Welsh industry, giving exposure to the fact that Wales has the skills and opportunities needed in order to attain legitimate international recognition.

The report did find a number of challenges that the local sector is currently facing:

  • There currently is a fragmented local ecosystem, with the currently organisational setting resulting in confusion for stakeholders about the interaction between the various local bodies;
  • CCR contains a high number of SMEs/freelancers working in the screen/media sector, which can lead to lacking in competitiveness on the global market when in competition with major companies in the sector;
  • Cardiff and Wales still lack international recognition as a major audiovisual production centre and creative cluster;
  • The current model means intellectual property is not always held in the local sector, which is vital for longer term sustainability and growth;
  • There is currently a lack of data on the dynamics of the local screen sector;
  • Although well stocked in terms of studios and other production services, there is a lack of sufficient infrastructure to be able to conduct world class R&D projects in the screen sector.

Based on experiences and findings of other screen and creative clusters across Europe the report advises that support is needed in order to boost local screen sector growth through the following means:

  • Promoting innovation through R&D funding;
  • Development of screen sector infrastructure in CCR;
  • Encouraging the professionalisation of the sector through commercialisation and investment opportunities;
  • A systematic approach to data collection in relation to CCR's screen sector;
  • Fostering collaboration with other clusters;
  • Promoting the international perception of the region and CCR's screen sector;
  • Addressing key social and environmental issues within the screen sector.

Full report coming soon!