S4C: Looking to the Future

"Giving the Welsh a platform on TV and on-line is S4C's aim." S4C's key ambitions as the channel targets sufficient funds

S4C has set out a number of different spheres in which the channel could make a further contribution to Wales' economy and culture provided the service is sufficiently funded in the future.

At an event in Cardiff, the Welsh Channel's Chief Executive, Ian Jones announced his wish to focus in future on three particular areas where he believes the channel's work can create further benefits.

Mr Jones outlined his ambitions in the areas of:

  1. Digital – securing the Welsh language's place on the new digital platforms of the future in order to keep the language relevant to new generations.
  2. Maintaining the profile of Wales and the Welsh language – by targeting more co-production schemes and partnership agreements with international companies, creating additional economic impact.
  3. Education and skills – partnering with educational establishments in order to ensure content is targeted specifically for use within the national curriculum, and securing investment in skills in Welsh television's production sector.

Mr Jones emphasised that he saw these aspirations as being among the most far-reaching the channel could aim at if the service was sufficiently funded in the future.

These ambitions are contained in a document S4C: Edrych i'r Dyfodol/Looking to the Future which will form part of S4C's contribution to the debate about adequate future funding for the channel. Currently, the UK Government is preparing its Comprehensive Spending Review as well as reviewing the licence fee now the primary source of S4C income.

The document was launched by the Chairman of the S4C Authority, Huw Jones and S4C's Chief Executive, Ian Jones at a special presentation this evening (Wednesday 4 November) in Cardiff Bay.

Huw Jones, Chairman of the S4C Authority, said:

"As means of viewing and interacting proliferate, there is a need to ensure that the Welsh language, and S4C, can take advantage of opportunities to bring communities together in new ways. This must be achieved while maintaining the quality and range of a daily television service. "We have a vision for how this can be done, and with our creative partners throughout the country, we have the ability to succeed.

"As the future of public broadcasting and the methods of funding it are widely discussed, it must also be ensured that the requirements of broadcasting in the Welsh language, the challenges it faces, and the funding needed to deliver it are given timely and independent attention. S4C is ready at all times to cooperate fully with any review to this end, and is pleased to present this document as a means of stimulating a broad discussion about the future of Welsh-language broadcasting."

S4C Chief Executive, Ian Jones said:

"Our wish in S4C is to put the difficult days of dealing with the cuts of the last few years behind us and concentrate on our aspirations for the future – and we believe strongly that we are justified in being very ambitious in terms of what we can contribute for the language and for the Welsh economy.

"We want to tell the world – the future of the media is extremely exciting with new developments every day driven by technology. S4C's aim is to give Wales a platform – on television and on-line - and we want to grasp every opportunity to ensure our language continues to be relevant on digital platforms. There are so many opportunities for us to continue developing the production industry here in Wales, to embrace the changes that are happening and for us to convert that change into assets for the new generations, through education and jobs at the end of the day.

"With the budget to support our service in a progressive way, we can achieve so much, and we have so much support to achieve our aim."
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