UK: Boost for Welsh media industry with £22.2m innovation funding

It is hoped 2,000 new jobs will be created in the Cardiff area with significant funding as part of the UK Government's Innovation Strategy.

£22.2m boost for media.cymru to help make the Cardiff capital region a global hub for media innovation and production
Funding could create 2,000 new jobs and add £236 million to local economy
Investment part of the UK Government’s Innovation Strategy, launched today (22 July), setting out plans to make UK a global hub for innovation by 2035
Two thousand new jobs could be created across the Cardiff capital region, as the UK government today (22 July) awarded £22.2 million to media.cymru to make the region a global hub for media innovation and production.

Led by Cardiff University, media.cymru brings together 24 media production, broadcast, technology, university and local leadership partners for the first time to supercharge media innovation.

Building on successful foundations, the programme will drive inclusive, sustainable economic growth and an additional £236 million in GVA by 2026. Across five years, the programme aims to create more innovative firms in the region and nearly triple the productivity growth rate of the region, leading to 2,000 new jobs.

The programme’s activities are designed to respond to emerging technologies, increase small businesses’ capacity for innovation and address skills needs for the future.

media.cymru will develop solutions to challenges and opportunities for the Welsh media sector in areas including: sustainability; bilingual production; diversity and inclusion; tourism and technology.

It will also deliver new infrastructure including a world-class virtual studio, and an innovation/R&D pipeline that enables the best ideas to become new products, services and experiences ready for market.

The programme is funded through the flagship Strength in Places Fund (SIPF), delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

media.cymru is one of five major research and innovation projects announced today as part of SIPF. Each combines industry, local leadership and research and innovation expertise to help maximise an area’s potential and drive productivity.

The projects will receive a share of £127m government funding via SIPF and as a result will leverage over £110m from research organisations, businesses, and local leadership.

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said:

The Cardiff area has long been established as a leading centre of media production, innovation and the creative industries.

This significant backing from the UK Government will help develop the region still further, driving job creation and growth in both English and Welsh-language media and creating a truly global creative hub for Wales.

UK Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:

As the birthplace of the fuel cell and radar, Wales has always been at the centre of innovation. This project from media.cymru, bringing together academics, local government and the media to drive forward innovation in media for the first time, shows this spirit lives on and we are proud to support it.

This £22.2 million investment is part of the UK Government’s Innovation Strategy we have published today, which outlines how we plan harness the skills and ingenuity of every corner of the UK in order to cement our status as a global Science Superpower.

Also announced today is an £8.3 million project led by Cardiff University, bp, Johnson Matthey and The University of Manchester to develop new catalysts to help the UK move to a sustainable, net zero future.

These new catalysts will be inspired by nature and will convert sustainable biomass, waste, and carbon dioxide into valuable products such as fuels and lubricants, delivering major economic benefits as well as reducing carbon emissions.

The Prosperity Partnership project is funded by a £2.6 million grant from UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and £5.7 million from partners.

The two initiatives form part of the UK Government’s ambitious new Innovation Strategy, announced today, which sets out a long-term vision to put innovation at the heart of building back better and levelling up the economy.

Announced in last March’s Plan for Growth, it aims to support businesses to increase their investment in innovation. This is critical to boosting productivity and creating jobs in all four nations of the UK.

 

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