What does the future hold for S4C?
An independent review on how to ensure a vibrant and sustainable future for Welsh language broadcaster S4C has been published today, alongside the Government’s response.
The review, led by Euryn Ogwen Williams, presents a package of reforms which have the potential to deliver real change to make S4C a better organisation that more effectively serves Welsh speaking audiences.
The review’s recommendations will also be instrumental in strengthening the independence of the broadcaster and increasing the transparency of its operations.
As part of its commitment to ensuring a strong future for Welsh language broadcasting, the Government has also announced it will be maintaining UK Government funding for S4C’s funding at its current level of £6.762 million for 2018/19 and 2019/20.
This will give S4C the funding certainty it needs for the next two years to deliver the much-needed reforms set out in the review.
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: “S4C undeniably makes an enormous contribution towards the creative industries in Wales, and crucially, to promoting the Welsh language and our culture around the world.
“The UK Government recognises the importance the people of Wales place upon S4C. Broadcasting across the UK is a reserved function, that is why this Government will continue to provide funding certainty to the channel as it navigates the recommendations set out in the review over the coming two years.”
Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, Margot James said: “S4C has a unique cultural and social value as the world’s only Welsh language broadcaster. We want to see it continue to thrive, but, as with all broadcasters, it needs to adapt to the changing media landscape. This review sets out a clear and sensible path for its future, and we are providing the funding certainty that S4C needs to deliver this.”
One of the recommendations was that the government should update S4C’s public service remit to include digital and online services and remove the current geographical broadcasting restrictions. This will allow S4C to broaden its reach and offer its content on a range of new platforms in the UK and beyond.
Another stated that S4C should establish an in-house digital hub to develop and improve S4C’s digital footprint and form the basis of a Welsh language digital cluster. S4C should also establish a language partnership with the Welsh Government and others to help deliver the Welsh Government’s commitment to reach 1 million Welsh language speakers by 2050.
The government accepts all of the recommendations for government made by the review.