New creative industries initiative opens for business

A muti-million-pound initiative designed to boost innovation in the screen industries is now open for business.

Clwstr is a five-year research and development programme that’ll help to create new products, services and experiences, with the aim of accelerating this sector in South Wales.

Led by Cardiff University with the support of University of South Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University, the programme’s delivery team is based at Cardiff City Hall and is comprised of four producers who will set up, curate and manage a range of R&D programmes.

Through the programme, professionals working in the screen and news sectors will be able to apply for funding to help them develop ideas that can innovate their organisations and the wider industry.

Clwstwr director Justin Lewis said: “We are delighted to be in our new home at Cardiff’s iconic City Hall. Now that the full team is in place, we will be sharing our expertise, our approach to R&D and how to apply for funding with the sector.

“Cardiff is now one of the UK’s biggest media production centres outside London. But if we’re to thrive in an industry dominated by big global players, we need to find ways to foster collaboration.

“The Clwstwr team is very much looking forward to putting innovation at the heart of the city, so that we can address some of these key challenges.”

Councillor Huw Thomas, leader of Cardiff Council, said: “Clwstwr is such an important vote of confidence in the creative industries in Cardiff. To have you, in situ, in this brilliant building is really great to see. I hope that this becomes a focal point of creative innovation in the city.”

The project will be chaired by former BT director for Wales Ann Beynon OBE and bring together all major Welsh broadcasters, including BBC Cymru Wales, S4C and ITV Wales with independent film and television production companies.

Ann said: “I am delighted to have been asked to Chair Clwstwr which has huge potential to do great things. For me it is a nice mix of creative and commercial, grounded in Wales but with a global perspective, practical but aspirational.”

Sally Griffith, former director of Anim18, said: “A Celebration of British Animation, has joined the team as a Clwstwr Producer. She said: “Being part of Clwstwr is an exciting place to be. In my first month I’ve met people from across all areas of the creative sector in Cardiff.

“It’s inspiring to be working within a vibrant and diverse ecosystem which is full of potential and ideas, and to be in a position to offer the time and support needed to help develop some of that thinking.

“I love that Clwstwr is bringing together experts from across the spectrum of film, television, news and research, all working together to create something brilliant.”