S4C has announced that a feasibility study into the possibility of moving parts of the channel to other areas of Wales will continue - and the next phase of the study will focus on moving the channel’s Headquarters to one of two areas, Carmarthen or Gwynedd.
Phase two of the study will look more closely at the possibility of moving S4C’s headquarters to Carmarthen or Gwynedd, while keeping a strong channel presence in Cardiff. As the study progresses, the channel will work with a group that is led by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Carmarthen and Gwynedd Council in Gwynedd. The intention is to complete the study in the first half of 2014.
In the first phase of the study, ideas were invited from public and private organisations across Wales to see whether moving elements of S4C to other parts of Wales was a realistic possibility. The ideas received were evaluated according to their content, their suitability to meet the requirements of S4C, and their impact on the Welsh language in the area and the area's economy.
A large number of organisations offered ideas to S4C as part of the process, and the channel has thanked everyone for their support and their desire to invite S4C to their areas.
S4C’s Chief Executive, Ian Jones, said:
"Moving forward with step two of our feasibility study shows that we're giving full consideration to how much more S4C can do to ensure that the whole of Wales benefits as much as possible from our existence as a national channel. I'm really looking forward to seeing the outcomes of the additional work that will be done now in conjunction with our potential partners in Carmarthen and Gwynedd.
"If in the end we move elements of our work to new headquarters in Carmarthen or Gwynedd, it will be in addition to a strong presence in Cardiff. If we decide to do so after receiving the full study, the process of moving may take several years of course. But there is no guarantee that we will move at all. I want to look at the work that is being done and if continuing to work in our current locations is deemed best, we are perfectly willing to accept that.
"I would like to thank everyone who has contacted us with their ideas and desire to try to attract the channel to their areas. It has been a pleasure to see that such enthusiasm and initiative exists across Wales."
The timeline up to now:
• August 2012 - S4C announced that it is considering the possibility of devolving some of S4C to other parts of Wales.
• October 2012 – A Project Team was established and a feasibility study was announced.
• February 2013 - Expressions of interest are publically invited.
• September 2013 –It is announced that the study will continue, with further work concentrated on the possibility of moving S4C’s headquarters to Carmarthen or Gwynedd.
S4C has already announced that it is exploring the possibility of co-location of some of the channel’s work with the BBC in its new headquarters in Cardiff if it meets the requirements of S4C in the future.