S4C takes on a £10m government loan to fund relocation from Cardiff to Carmarthen

Welsh language broadcaster S4C will receive a loan of £10m to help fund the relocation of its headquarters from Cardiff to Carmarthen. 

The UK Government says its loan will also enable technical facilities to be shared with the BBC in Cardiff in a move to reduce overheads and boost the “creative pool of talent”.

It will also receive £350,000 in Government funding, enabling a “significant upgrade on its technical and IT equipment”.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said: “We are making Britain a country that works for all, and are committed to securing the future of Welsh language broadcasting. S4C has a proud history of showcasing some of the best of British talent and catering to Welsh-speaking audiences around the world.”

“S4C has a rich broadcasting history, having carved a stellar reputation for commissioning world-class animation, documentaries and dramas – such as Hinterland and Fferm Ffactor. This money will not only ensure S4C continues to prosper, but also that the channel is equipped to compete globally.”

Huw Jones, who chairs the S4C Authority, welcomed the funding, saying: “The loan of £10m, which will be repaid by S4C to DCMS over a period, will be used by S4C for two specific purposes: to contribute towards the costs of technical equipment associated with S4C’s proposed move to shared broadcasting services with BBC Cymru in their new headquarters in Cardiff in 2019 and also to provide a bridging facility to enable S4C’s advance rent payment to the University of Wales, Trinity St David for the lease at Yr Egin in 2018 until S4C’s current headquarters in Llanishen are sold.”

According to the UK Government: “S4C contributed £114m to the Welsh economy in 2015–16 and the channel recently reported that its current viewing figures are at their highest point in nine years, attracting 629,000 viewers a week on average.”

The UK Government will shortly launch a review of the “remit, governance and funding of S4C”.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said: “This investment puts S4C on a secure footing for years to come, guaranteeing TV viewers can continue to enjoy a high quality range of Welsh language TV programmes. The UK Government is absolutely committed to supporting and promoting the Welsh language, and today’s investment is solid proof of that.

“There are huge spin-off benefits to Carmarthenshire with hundreds of jobs being created locally and millions going into the region’s economy. I look forward to S4C taking its place at new state-of-the-art studios and entertaining, challenging and informing viewers as part of our national conversation.”