Welsh language channel S4C worth twice as much to the economy as it receives in funding
The Welsh language TV channel S4C is worth more than twice as much to the economy as it gets in funding, research has revealed.
In its last financial year, 2020-21, the channel received £74.5m from the BBC licence fee and £21.85m from the UK Government.
However, work by Arad Research showed that it had a total economic impact of £197.4m in 2019-20. Of its total impact, some £141.1m was felt in the Welsh economy, with £18.2m in Carmarthenshire where the channel is headquartered alone.
That consisted of a £96.7m direct impact from its spending on goods, services and wages, including those of freelancers, as well as an indirect impact of £800,000 from its anchor tenancy of the Yr Egin creative industries building in Carmarthen.
Its expenditure generated further demand and employment which support an estimated 2,334 UK employees and freelancers, of which 2,229 were estimated as being based in Wales and 245 in Carmarthenshire.
S4C’s chief executive, Owen Evans, told Business Wales: “This is an extremely important one [research] for us as the results have been included in our submission to the UK Government’s Department of Digital Technology, Culture, Media and Sport as part of a debate over S4C’s financial settlement from April 2022 onwards.
“There’s never been any doubt in my mind about the importance of S4C to the Welsh economy. The fact that S4C can have an impact on the UK economy also, as well as an impact in Wales and in Carmarthenshire in particular through our headquarters at Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is hugely encouraging.
“The relocation from Llanishen to Yr Egin ensured that S4C was at the forefront of creating job opportunities in West Wales and I’m extremely proud that we now have offices in Caernarfon, Carmarthen and Cardiff. This shows the positive impact of S4C throughout the whole of Wales.“
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Helping the Welsh language thrive is laudable, but imagine how much it would worth to the Welsh Economy if a station/production company made program’s that could be exported. Or perhaps setting the bar a little lower program’s that people in Wales actually want to watch. The cost of propping up S4C is far greater than often quoted figures. Much of the advertisement revenue is actually from politically placed ads by government dept’s and third sector organisations who enthusiastically lick the government hand that feeds them.