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Welsh media industry gets £22.2m innovation funding package

As part of plans to make the UK a global innovation hub by 2035, as set out in its innovation strategy, the UK government is pumping £22.2m into the media.cymru programme

The Welsh media industry is receiving £22.2m in funding from the UK government for a range of projects, with the aim of making the region a global media innovation hub.

The funding, through UK Research and Innovation’s Strength in Places Fund, will go to the media.cymru programme, led by Cardiff University.

The programme brings together 24 partners, including production, broadcast, technology, university and local leadership, which will work together to “supercharge” media innovation in the region and create 2,000 new jobs over the next five years.

The media.cymru programme also aims to deliver infrastructure such as a world-class virtual studio and an innovation and research and development (R&D) pipeline to drive forward new ideas and products.

Science minister Amanda Solloway said Wales has always been “at the centre of innovation”, adding: “This project from media.cymru, bringing together academics, local government and the media to drive forward innovation in media for the first time, shows this spirit lives on and we are proud to support it.”

Solloway said the investment is part of the government’s innovation strategy, “which outlines how we plan to harness the skills and ingenuity of every corner of the UK in order to cement our status as a global science superpower”.

The government wants the UK to become a global innovation hub by 2035, and the Welsh project is one of five that are receiving funding from the £127m pot allocated for this.

Simon Hart, secretary of state for Wales, said Cardiff has long been a leading centre of media and innovation. “This significant backing from the UK government will help develop the region still further, driving job creation and growth in both English and Welsh-language media and creating a truly global creative hub for Wales,” he said.

The government’s innovation strategy, published on 22 July, aims to boost private sector investment in R&D across the UK, and further outlines measures to support businesses and institutions at the cutting edge of innovation.

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