Canolfan S4C Yr Egin – the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s new creative and digital centre – was opened officially today by the Rt. Hon. Carwyn Jones, AM, First Minister of Wales.
Located within a striking and iconic building, Yr Egin is a centre that brings the creative and digital content industries together to stimulate ideas and connections while nurturing talent and sharing resources under one roof. It is a transformational project that brings together the Welsh Government’s economic, linguistic and cultural policy objectives as noted in the programme for government Taking Wales Forward. It is also due to be part-funded by the £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal, subject to approval of the business case, and will create major and positive change in the creative and digital economy of Wales.
First Minister, Carwyn Jones, said:
“We are pleased to be backing this project which will see an innovative hub for the Creative Industries being established in Carmarthen. Yr Egin very much supports both the Welsh Government and S4C’s vision to grow our creative industry whilst also developing the local economy.
“Our investment in Yr Egin is part of our commitment to deliver better jobs closer to people’s homes and also to deliver quality Welsh speaking jobs in our heartlands which will help us meet our goal of one million Welsh speakers by 2050.”
Having opened to the public earlier this autumn, Yr Egin is already establishing itself at the heart of the University’s Carmarthen campus providing opportunities for the creative industries, students and staff as well as the local community, to create, learn and enjoy its state-of-the-art facilities. The Centre, which includes an auditorium; editing suites; a large performance area, and a café, will offer a varied programme of events, workshops, talks and screenings for members of the public as well as those working in the creative and digital industries.
With S4C as the main anchor tenant, Yr Egin is also home to a range of companies working in the creative industries including multi-media publishing and digital technology; digital education; video production and photography; post production; graphic design; translation and sub-titling as well as financial management for the creative industries. They include: Boom, Gorilla, Atebol, Big Learning Company, Captain Jac, Asset Finance Solutions, Carlam, Highly, Lens 360, Moilin, Optimwm, and Trywydd.
Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor, said:
“I am delighted that Canolfan S4C Yr Egin has already established itself at the heart of the creative community in Carmarthenshire. We have worked in partnership with S4C, Carmarthenshire County Council, Welsh Government and the Swansea Bay City Deal to deliver an iconic centre that will serve the needs of Wales. In developing Yr Egin, the University was mindful of the need to create an innovative centre that would strengthen digital infrastructure in rural Wales. Yr Egin provides an opportunity to maximise the economic, linguistic and social value of attracting S4C to relocate its headquarters to Carmarthenshire through establishing a creative and digital cluster to co-locate with the channel. The vision was to develop a centre that will reflect commercial best practice within the creative sector linked to the UWTSD’s bilingual provision and to create an accelerator that will incorporate the key components of a sustainable, highly productive and competitive hub that will contribute to the creative and digital economies of Wales and the UK.”
Carys Ifan, Director of Canolfan S4C Yr Egin added:
“It’s been only eight weeks since the building was handed over to us and in that time, 55 members of S4C staff are now working from Yr Egin and 10 companies have taken up residency on the second floor. Since September, S4C have hosted a very successful Viewers’ Evening; hundreds of local school children have taken part in workshops and the Creative Carmarthenshire network, established as part of Yr Egin Engagement Project, supported by LEADER funding, has met to explore digital opportunities. We’re therefore delighted to see the realisation of our vision of developing a centre that will inspire the creative community as well as creating a hub where members of the community can experience and enjoy Welsh medium and bilingual activities.”
S4C moved into its new headquarters on the first floor of Yr Egin in September and is the main anchor within the development. Huw Jones, Chair of S4C said:
“The move to yr Egin is an important milestone for S4C. We are confident this historic relocation will be a catalyst to support employment and the Welsh language in West Wales. The state of the art facilities and desirable location make it an attractive place to work. We are pleased at the number of high quality jobs we have already been able to offer and also look forward to working closely with our future co-tenants.”
Carmarthenshire County Council has also been a key partner and has worked closely with the University on the development of Canolfan S4C Yr Egin.