USW celebrates Creative Clusters bid success

USW Cardiff

USW's Creative Industries Faculty is based at its Cardiff Campus


Screen industries based in and around the Welsh capital are set to benefit from new research and development opportunities.

The University of South Wales (USW) has been part of a successful bid to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), which has today announced an unprecedented multi-million-pound research investment into the UK’s creative economy.

The Creative Industries Clusters Programme, which is part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, will bring together world-class research talent from leading UK universities with companies and organisations from across the creative sector.

Working in partnership with the Cardiff University, which led the bid, and Cardiff Metropolitan University, as well as the Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, all major Welsh broadcasters and more than 60 screen industry businesses, Clwstwr Creadigol is one of nine projects in the UK to be chosen for the five-year funding stream.

With a focus on screen industries – film and television production and their supply chains – academics from Cardiff’s three universities will collaborate to provide research that can help the already thriving scene in South Wales reach its full potential.

Through a Screen Innovation System (SIS) and a News Innovation Lab (NIL) – the Research and Development (R&D) programme will also allow broadcasters, businesses and freelancers to apply for funding to develop innovative products, services and experiences in a drive to create economic uplift in South Wales.

These R&D initiatives will be designed to respond to changing technologies, shifting patterns of consumption and the benefits of creative fusion and collaboration.

Dr Ruth McElroyProfessor Ruth McElroy (left) of USW, who is Co-Director and Co-Investigator of Clwstwr Creadigol, said: “As the largest Creative Industries Faculty in Wales here at the University of South Wales, we are delighted to be at the heart of this exciting initiative.

“We will be collaborating with industry to deliver the Screen Innovation System as part of the Research and Development of Clwstwr Creadigol, leading to high quality sustainable jobs in one of the UK’s fastest growing market.”

Clwstwr Creadigol Director Professor Justin Lewis (below), who is based at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture, added: “I am proud of our team’s hard work to secure this award for Wales. It's a fantastic opportunity to boost Cardiff's profile as an internationally recognised centre for creative production.

“The foundations for success have been laid by some of our brilliant companies in the screen industry and wider creative economy. But to really thrive, we must invest in research and development to create a culture of innovation – that’s what Clwstwr Creadigol is all about.Clwstwr Creadigol Director Professor Justin Lewis, who is based at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Neil Gibson, September 2018

“Many of our screen companies are independent SMEs and so, if we’re to compete with the global players, we need to work together. That’s why we will be working with a range of partners in the creative industries and in local and national government to create new products, services and experiences to deliver economic uplift for South Wales.”

A powerhouse for growth, the creative industries in the UK contribute more than £90bn to the economy each year. Each of the partnership bids was required to show how it will deliver renewed commercial success for the benefit of the UK as a whole, and bring new products, services and experiences to market.

The work driven by these partnerships will help protect and enhance the UK’s leading global position in the creative industries, which export an estimated £46bn in goods and services annually and are the fastest-growing sector of the UK economy.

A new Policy and Evidence Centre for the sector led by global innovation foundation Nesta, with partners across the UK, will connect organisations in the creative industries, research communities, and policy-makers to develop independent evidence and analysis that can inform decision-making across the industry and underpin future policy decisions. 

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