Assembly inquiry into Welsh Government funding of film and TV production industry
A new inquiry from a National Assembly committee will examine how effective government support and funding has been for film and TV production in Wales.
The Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee will be looking at the cultural and economic impact as well as value for money for the £30 million Media Investment Budget, set aside to attract major studios and producers to work in Wales.
Since 1999 there has been large growth in the film and TV production sector in Wales, and across the UK. Growth has been significantly faster in Wales than any other part of the country. However, the sector in Wales still forms far less than a population-based share of the sector in the UK as a whole (Between 1999 and 2016, Welsh GVA in this area has grown from 1.1% of the UK total to 1.8% of the UK total).
Funding from the Welsh Government's Media Investment Budget is provided on conditions including that at least 50 per cent of the production is shot in Wales, and 40 per cent of the below the line production budget must be spent in Wales. 'Below the line' expenditure refers to money spent on the production of the film, rather than the creative direction (i.e. not spent on, for example, the screenwriter, producer, director, and actors).
However, the Committee is also interested in finding out whether enough is being done to grow a domestic film industry and encourage film-makers to tell stories about Wales which can be sold across the world.
The Welsh Government has also provided funding for a number of film and television studios, including Wolf Studios and Pinewood Studios, both based in Cardiff.
"Wales has a rich and vibrant creative sector and the steady growth of investment in major film and tv productions are, on the face of it, very encouraging," said Bethan Sayed AM, Chair of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee.
"Harry Potter, Snow White and the Huntsman and Captain America are just a few movies at least filmed partly in Wales, and it is clear major Hollywood studios and smaller independent film companies can find the locations, resources and talent they need to bring their ideas to life.
"We want to know what the wider benefit is for Wales, both economically and culturally, and whether the Welsh Government's multi-millions pounds investments are delivering value for money."
A public consultation will be open until 9 April 2018. Anyone wishing to contribute should first visit the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee web pages.
The full terms of reference for the inquiry are:
- To achieve clarity on the Welsh Government's policy aims for funding film and major television production in Wales, and transparency as to why and how decisions are made in this area;
- The support given by the Welsh Government to develop the film and television industries in Wales including:
- Economic impact, and how this is spread across Wales
- Cultural impact, including the Welsh language
- Value for money
- How support for the sector may be affected by the Welsh Government's new Economic Action Plan.
- To investigate how Ffilm Cymru Wales, the BFI and others support the sector, and how this work complements the work of the Welsh Government in this area.
- The support given to develop skills and address skills shortages in the industry, whether there is sufficient data to map existing skills.