Emergency funding provides timely spark for Welsh creative companies

Creative Wales’ Emergency Digital Development and Emergency TV Funds are already delivering real benefits to indigenous Welsh companies.

In response to the impact of the coronavirus on the creative industries sector, Creative Wales launched two funds to support the TV and digital sectors to help companies within the Creative industries sector through the crisis and propel them on to future success.

Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism said:

“The creative industries has been one of the fastest growing parts of the Welsh economy for a number of years. The sector doesn’t just create jobs and wealth – it contributes to a strong national brand and helps to promote Wales and its culture and talent to the world.

“A creative society in its widest sense promotes well-being and a more inclusive society. I’m really proud of the way Welsh Government and Creative Wales deployed support so swiftly to the benefit of so many ‘Made in Wales’ companies.”

A total of 21 Welsh production companies have been offered £302,046 via the Emergency TV Development Fund.

Companies supported include Joio, based in Neath, Awen Media based in Caernarfon, Darlun Cyf based in Bangor, Avanti Media Group, Boom Cymru TV Ltd, Little Bird Films and Martha Stone all based in Cardiff.    A range of projects have been supported, both scripted and non-scripted projects, including drama, factual, factual entertainment and comedy.

Paul Islwyn Thomas, CEO of Wildflame Productions said:

“Wildflame is delighted to announce that following intensive work undertaken across the last few months, supported by the Welsh Government, we have secured investment and an acquisition agreement from Discovery Science to deliver a two-hour specialist factual documentary entitled ‘Secrets of the Chariot Grave’ . This programme, originally commissioned by S4C, will now be broadcast in Wales on S4C, the US and will also be distributed internationally to audiences worldwide. This exciting acquisition will enhance our growing profile within the international market and the support of the ETVDF was key to us making this happen during the pandemic lockdown”.

Bumpybox is an animation company based in Cardiff. One of its founders, Sam Wright, said:

“The ETVDF funding came at the time we needed it most. The lockdown had a large impact on our business.  We had taken on some new members of staff to assist in some development work, which we then had to postpone.  In addition we had to cancel the May start date for a new series of our show My Petsaurus and there was a real possibility of having to make several of our staff redundant.  As well as helping us ride the storm of the pandemic, the funding allowed us to keep our staff working through the lockdown on some interesting new projects and build for the future by developing a new series to pitch.”

Robert Corcoran, founder of Wrexham based 73 Degree Films said:

“The Creative Wales support has been excellent, providing vital assistance during this period while also allowing us to develop our comedy series project ‘Wales: In Colour’. We believe the project has a clear route to broadcast and huge Welsh talent development potential from an underrepresented region. This show is unlike anything we’ve seen from Wales before and we’re extremely excited to develop it further with Creative Wales’ support.”

Through the Emergency Digital Development fund Creative Wales offered more than £560k to 26 companies from all over Wales including Goldborough Studio in Pembrokeshire, When It Rains Creative in Menai Bridge and 4Pi Productions based in Cardiff

William Morris-Julien, Creative Director at Swansea based game design and visual development outfit Goldborough Studio said:

“The grant from Creative Wales has been a real godsend. In all honesty, it couldn’t have come at a better time. It has secured jobs, allowed us to create our best work and enabled us to focus on putting our best foot forward in our upcoming presentations to publishers and platforms.”