S4C welcomes the Welsh Affairs Select Committee Report especially its recognition of the Channel’s important contribution to the cultural and economic life of Wales. Additionally, the Committee states that S4C plays a significant role in the promotion of the Welsh language in a medium that reaches children and young people and which supports bilingual education in schools.
The Committee acknowledges that there would be no independent production sector in Wales without S4C.
The Report notes that the last year has been a difficult period for S4C but the Committee is clear in its opinion that as part of current discussions with the DCMS and BBC, S4C’s independence operationally and editorially has to be secured for the future. They call on the Westminster Government to guarantee S4C’s financial future beyond 2014-15.
S4C’s success in maintaining its audience in peak over recent years and, more recently, over the digital switchover period, is also acknowledged in the Report. But the Committee expresses concern over the number of Welsh speakers watching the Channel. S4C itself recognises that an increase in viewers among this group is needed.
Rheon Tomos, Chair of the S4C Authority, said, “The Report is positive on the whole and is helpful to S4C as it maps out its future. We are aware that there is work to do in some areas and much of this work has been in hand for some months.”