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1,900 jobs and £136m generated by S4C

11 Apr 2024 4 minute read
Heledd Cynwal, in S4C’s highly-acclaimed production, Cynefin

A new report states that S4C’s economic contribution has resulted in 1,900 jobs and generated £136m for the Welsh economy.

The research was carried out by Wavehill for the public broadcaster, to measure S4C’s economic and social impact on Wales and beyond for the 2022-23 financial year.

The report shows that S4C, which broadcasts over 115 hours a week of diverse Welsh-language programmes, contributes more to the economy than it receives in public money and supports 1 in 7 jobs in the creative industries in Wales.

Economic output

For every £1 of licence fee funding S4C received, the broadcaster generated £1.53 in economic output in Wales, rising to £1.77 in the United Kingdom.

S4C is one of the most cost-efficient public service broadcasters in the UK, with a cost per hour significantly lower than other broadcasters and its activities also generate tax revenues in excess of the money it receives. For every £1 pound of licence fee funding S4C receives, £1.02 is generated in tax for the Treasury.

Bariau. Image: S4C

With over £79m spent, and half of its suppliers based outside of Cardiff, S4C’s impact is felt all across Wales. S4C worked with over 977 suppliers in 47 different sectors in Wales and beyond.

Since its inception in 1982 S4C has played a key role in supporting the independent production companies established across Wales.

During 2022-23 S4C worked with 70 production companies and shared almost 80% of its budget to commission content.

Culture and language

Over 98% of that content budget was spent with production companies headquartered in Wales.

Guto Bebb, S4C’s Interim Chair said: “The Wavehill report provides a good overview of the work S4C is doing to support the Welsh economy, create growth in the creative industries, and create jobs across the country.

“More money is sent back to the public purse by S4C than is originally invested – tangible proof of our ability to make every penny count.

“S4C plays an important role in the Welsh economy while also successfully contributing socially and supporting our culture and language.”

S4C productions

Guto continued: “We have to thank all of our partners in the sector and the S4C staff for all the hard work and creativity that goes into the production of our content.”

The report also outlines S4C’s social duty as a public broadcaster and highlights in particular its role as an advocate for the Welsh language and its commitment to improving representation and diversity on screen and throughout the sector.


Sioned Wiliam S4C’s Interim Chief Executive said: “We all should be proud of the role S4C plays in the cultural life of our country.

“But it’s also important to realise that we are also creating economic opportunities to set up new companies and create jobs, to grow the creative sector and to invest in skills and opportunities for the workforce.

“The S4C programmes and content we see on screen are also having a positive economic impact all across Wales, providing employment in communities across the country.”

Nia Roberts and Rhodri Meilir who play Clive and Margaret Lewis in Pren ar y Bryn/Tree on a Hill. Photography: Warren Orchard / BBC Wales /S4C/ All3media Int

UK Government Media Minister Julia Lopez said:“For more than 40 years, S4C has championed Welsh content and the impact is clear: it works with hundreds of suppliers, supporting nearly two thousand jobs and generating millions for the economy in Wales and beyond.

“We’re showing our commitment to Welsh language broadcasting through the Media Bill, with measures that will help S4C build on its achievements in the years ahead.”

Welsh Government Minister for Creative Industries, Hannah Blythyn, welcomed the report’s findings, saying:

“It’s great to see the importance of S4C being reflected in a direct, positive impact on the Welsh economy. Creative Wales looks forward to continuing its strategic partnership with S4C to support new opportunities for trainees, talent, high quality content and promoting Wales and the Welsh language globally.”

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1 month ago

Devolve broadcasting now.

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

It would make a brilliantly successful subscription channel.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
1 month ago
Reply to  Rhddwen y Sais

It doesn’t need to be – didn’t you read in the article where it says that for every £1 of licence fee invested in S4C £1.02 is paid to the Treasury in tax? Therefore as a public sector body it’s better than cost neutral, it actually delivers money for the UK. Now imagine if all the formerly nationalised industries were still owned by the state and delivering tax revenues in a like manner.

1 month ago

Some of S4C’s output ranks with the best UK wide and foreign productions. On the other hand some of it is dire and should be allowed to fade away. I guess much the same could be said of the other formerly terrestrial channels too. Good job that some of those streaming channels have come along and revealed to us the depth of poor quality that some can plumb to. Nothing worse than hours of wall to wall American or European overdubbed pulp fiction.

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