S4C has announced that they have accepted a £10m loan from UK Government, using the funds to cement their name in the future of British broadcasting. Planning to spend close to £7m on new transition facilities that will be shared at BBC’s new base in central Cardiff, S4C promise that with the investment they can ‘compete globally’.
The remainder of the money will be used to move to new headquarters in Carmarthen, expected to create more than 800 jobs. £350,000 will also be invested in upgrading the channel’s technical and IT equipment.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said it would launch an independent review of S4C’s remit, governance and funding. It said the money announced on Monday would “ensure financial stability” during this review process.
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said the UK government was “committed to securing the future of Welsh language broadcasting”.
“We are making Britain a country that works for all, and are committed to securing the future of Welsh language broadcasting,” Ms Bradley said.
“This money will not only ensure S4C continues to prosper, but also that the channel is equipped to compete globally.”
But, how will the broadcaster repay the loan? According to Welsh Government, S4C will sell their current base in Llanishen for around £3m, using that money to settle some of the loan. The channel will also save a considerable amount as a result of the relocation.
Having enjoyed a record year in 2015/2016, contributing £114m to the Welsh economy, the channel are attracting its highest audiences for nine years; an average of 629,000 viewers each week.
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns added:
“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.”