Speaking at the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, Lord Elis-Thomas outlined his plans for the body, which will sit within Welsh Government but have the autonomy to make its own commercial decisions based on an expert understanding of the industry and its needs.
Lord Elis-Thomas said:
“Our Creative Industries have enjoyed unprecedented success over recent years, with Welsh Government support helping attract and produce award winning TV dramas, films and a whole host besides, showcasing Wales to the world whilst supporting local jobs and boosting the economy.
“We are now at a crucial point where opportunities are converging and, with the right support over the coming years, the industry’s successes could become even more significant, and therefore the rewards for Wales even greater. This will require bespoke support to aid business growth in the sector as part of a wider, more rounded approach, allowing us to respond more flexibly to businesses and an industry that moves and changes quickly. Creative Wales will help achieve this.
“A Government vehicle offering a streamlined, dynamic and innovative service to this sector, Creative Wales will provide tailored support for indigenous Small and Medium Enterprises, productions and freelancers as well as supply chain companies. It will also continue to provide funding through the Media Investment Budget and bespoke access to our new Economic Futures Fund.
“I’m fortunate to already have as part of my portfolio two bodies within Government with the flexibility and know-how to act and react quickly to the needs of the industry, Visit Wales and Cadw. These are well trusted, well equipped and well-structured bodies providing a dedicated voice for the sector and adding hundreds of millions of pounds of value to our economy through targeted investment and innovative working.
“My ambition is for Creative Wales to follow a similar model, providing the support the sector needs and has called for to compete with the World’s best, but with a level of accountability which ensures tax payers money is being wisely and purposefully spent. This will provide the best possible platform to build on the hard work we’ve seen to date - further raising skill levels, strengthening the supply chain and improving networks in order to help this now well established industry to take its next steps. I hope to have it up and running as soon as possible.”
The Minister added that he envisaged Creative Wales to be structured to include an external Board and Chair, and operations led by a Chief Executive or equivalent role.