New ‘Creative West Wales’ Network launches at Canolfan S4C Yr Egin

On Thursday night, 26 October, a new network, ‘Creative West Wales’, was launched at Canolfan S4C Yr Egin.  

This new network aims to represent and engage the creative industries in the region, namely the counties of Swansea, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Neath Port Talbot. Creative West Wales’s initial priority is to focus on the growth of the screen, music, digital and research and development sectors.

As part of the launch, there was a special preview of a new S4C documentary series by the local production company Carlam, “Ceffylau, Sheiks a Chowbois”, which follows a family’s story from Ffairfach to Abu Dhabi, and a lively question and answer session about the future the network can affect.

Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden, said:

“Launching Creative West Wales is exciting news for the sector and I’m delighted that we’re able to support establishing the network.  We hope that the creation of Creative West Wales will support talent retention and future skills development, improve creative diversity and opportunity across the sector and we look forward to seeing  many partnerships and ideas flourishing as part of this new venture.”

Similar networks have already been set up in Cardiff and North Wales which are proving to be effective in promoting the creative industries. In addition, the recent Screen Survey Wales report by South Wales University recognises that a creative cluster exists in South West Wales, and anticipates growth of 11.3% there.

Director of Canolfan S4C Yr Egin, Carys Ifan said:

“With the confidence and record of success from five years of laying the foundations of Yr Egin and the initial findings of recent research noting that Yr Egin generated an economic impact of £21.6 million in the Welsh economy during 2022-2023, and an economic impact in Carmarthenshire of £7.6 million during the same year, I am excited to develop the Creative West Wales network which will have collaboration, encouragement, questioning and learning as an integral part of it in order to raise the profile of the creative industries and stimulate further growth across the region.”

Noson lansio Gorllewin Cymru Greadigol yn Yr Egin

There is initial funding from Creative Wales, the Welsh Government agency supporting and promoting the creative industries in Wales, towards establishing the network.

S4C Director of Content and Publishing Strategy, Geraint Evans added:

“The location of S4C’s headquarters in Carmarthen presents the perfect opportunity for us to contribute to this progressive project.

“Working closely with our partners, we can build on the excellent work being done across the region.”

There was an engaging question and answer session at the end of the night with Catrin Rowlands, Captain Jac, Dyfrig Davies, Telesgop / TAC, Euros Llŷr, Carlam, Geraint Evans, S4C and Carys Ifan, Yr Egin as chair, discussing the strength of the region and how they would like to see the sector develop as a result of the network.

The next steps following the launch are establishing a steering group with representatives from the different sectors, counties and higher education and further education institutions to jointly plan the next events and developments.