Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu - Y Bumed Senedd
Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee - Fifth Senedd24/05/2018
Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol
Committee Members in Attendance
|Bethan Sayed AM||Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor|
|Mick Antoniw AM|
|Neil Hamilton AM|
|Rhianon Passmore AM|
|Sian Gwenllian AM|
|Suzy Davies AM|
Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol
Others in Attendance
|Lacey Small||Wicked Wales|
|Rhiannon Hughes||Wicked Wales|
|Rhodri Talfan Davies||BBC Cymru Wales|
|BBC Cymru Wales|
|Simon Winstone||BBC Studios|
Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol
Senedd Officials in Attendance
|Lowri Harries||Dirprwy Glerc|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.
The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:05.
The meeting began at 09:05.
Diolch a chroeso i'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu. Eitem 1: cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau a dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau. A oes gan Aelod rywbeth i'w ddatgan heddiw? Mae gen i ddatganiad fod fy ngŵr i'n rhedeg Gŵyl Ffilm Ryngwladol Caerdydd. Dyna'r unig beth sydd gennyf i.
Thank you and welcome to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee. Item 1: introductions, apologies and substitutions and declaration of interests. Do any Members have anything to declare today? I have a declaration that my husband runs the Cardiff International Film Festival. That's the only declaration that I have.
Mi wnaf i ddweud hefyd fod gen i gyswllt personol efo cwmni cynhyrchu teledu.
I'll also declare that I have a close personal link with a television production company.
Grêt. Diolch, Siân. Mae Rhianon Passmore wedi dweud ei bod hi'n mynd i fod yn hwyr, ond nid oes ymddiheuriadau eraill yn ôl yr hyn rwy'n ei wybod ar hyn o bryd.
Great. Thank you, Siân. Rhianon Passmore has said that she's going to be late, but there are no other apologies from what I understand at the moment.
Eitem 2: cynyrchiadau ffilm a theledu mawr yng Nghymru, sesiwn dystiolaeth 8. Diolch i'r tystion am ddod i mewn atom heddiw, sef Rhodri Talfan Davies, cyfarwyddwr BBC Cymru Wales; Simon Winstone, pennaeth drama BBC Studios; Owen Evans, prif weithredwr S4C; ac Amanda Rees, cyfarwyddwr creadigol cynnwys S4C. Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi. Rydym ni fel arfer yn cael cwestiynau ar themâu gwahanol, felly, os yw'n iawn, awn ni'n syth i mewn i gwestiynau. Y cwestiynau cyntaf sydd gen i yw: beth yw'ch barn chi'n gyffredinol ynglŷn â'r hyn sy'n digwydd yng Nghymru ac ym Mhrydain ar hyn o bryd o ran y byd teledu mawr, y cynyrchiadau teledu mawr a hefyd o ran ffilmiau? A ydych chi'n credu ei bod hi'n sefyllfa ffyniannus, lwyddiannus? Beth yw eich barn chi yn hynny o beth?
Nid oes neb eisiau dechrau.
Item 2: film and major television productions in Wales, evidence session 8. Thank you to the witnesses for attending today: Rhodri Talfan Davies, director of BBC Cymru Wales; Simon Winstone, head of drama, BBC Studios; Owen Evans, chief executive of S4C; and Amanda Rees, creative director of content at S4C. Thank you very much. We usually have questions on different themes, so, if it's all right with you, we'll go straight into questions. The first questions I have are: what are your views in general of what is happening in Wales and in the UK at the moment in terms of the film and major television productions sector? Do you think that it is a prosperous, successful situation? What are your views on that?
Nobody wants to start.
Rydw i'n meddwl ei bod hi'n amlwg fod yna gynnydd sylweddol yn digwydd ym maes beth sy'n cael ei alw'n high-end television. Mae yna ddiddordeb mawr, rhyngwladol yn y sgiliau a'r talentau sydd yn bodoli yma ym Mhrydain ac yng Nghymru, felly mae yna gyfle creadigol ac mae yna gyfle economaidd sylweddol i Brydain. Rydw i'n falch iawn, dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf yma, ei bod hi'n amlwg bod Cymru, i ryw raddau, ar flaen y gad yn hynny ac wedi datblygu enw da rhyngwladol am ansawdd a scale y cynyrchiadau sy'n digwydd. Mae yna heriau. Mae yna heriau sgliliau. Rydych chi wedi clywed yn y pwyllgor hyd yn hyn o'r sector annibynnol am y pwysau. I ryw raddau, mae hynny yn ganlyniad i'r llwyddiant sydd wedi digwydd. Mae yna alw mawr am brosiectau yma yng Nghymru. Mae'r Llywodraeth yn cefnogi hynny, mae'r darlledwyr yn cefnogi hynny, felly y sialens sydd gennym ni yw sicrhau ein bod ni'n datblygu'r sgiliau ochr yn ochr â denu'r gwaith i Gymru. Dyna ydy'r her i ni, ond mae'r llwyddiant dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf yn amlwg iawn, rydw i'n credu, i bawb.
Clearly, there is significant progress in the area known as high-end television. There is huge international interest in the skills and talents that exists here in the UK and in Wales, and so there is a creative and an economic opportunity for the UK. I have been very pleased, over the past few years, to see Wales clearly in the vanguard in that respect, having developed an international reputation for the quality and scale of its productions. There are challenges. There are skills challenges. You as a committee will have heard from the independent sector about the pressures. To some extent, that is the upshot of the success that's taken place. There's huge demand for projects here in Wales. The Government supports that, the broadcasters support it too, so the challenge we face is to ensure that we develop the skills necessary along with attracting that work here to Wales. That's the challenge for us, but the success over the past few years has been clear for all to see, I think.
Beth am S4C? Rydym ni wedi cael tystiolaeth nad yw'r hyn y mae S4C yn ei wneud o ran ffilmiau yn ddigonol neu ddim yn digwydd yn ddigon aml, efallai. A oes gennych chi farn ar hynny, fod yna ddiffyg ffilmiau yn dod o S4C?
What about S4C? We've had evidence that what S4C is doing in terms of films is not sufficient or isn't happening on a regular basis. Do you have a view on that? Is there a lack of films coming out of S4C?
Mi awn ni draw at Amanda mewn eiliad, ond rydym ni wedi gweld honiadau ac rydym ni wedi bod yn edrych yn ôl i 2012, ac rydym ni'n gwneud mwy o ddramâu, fel esiampl, nag ydym ni wedi ei wneud bron erioed. Beth sy'n neis i'w weld yw bod y gwerthiannau rydym ni wedi eu gwneud yn rhyngwladol yn ddiweddar wedi bod yn ysgubol. Mae yna sawl cyfres, sawl drama wedi'u gwerthu yn rhyngwladol—gwerthu pethau fel Byw Celwydd i'r Unol Daleithiau. Felly, mewn rhai agweddau, mae'n oes euraidd i ni, yn gweld beth yw'r cynnyrch a sut mae hwnnw wedi bod yn datblygu. Felly, i ni, buaswn i'n honni bod pethau'n mynd yn dda ar y funud. Mae'r math o gynyrchiadau sy'n mynd ymlaen yn allweddol iawn i ni fel sianel. Rydw i'n credu mai'r cam i ni yw gwneud yn siŵr nad ydym ni'n cael feast and famine, a bod y cynyrchiadau mawr yma'n dod i mewn i Gymru. Wrth gwrs, ble mae'r BBC ac S4C yn dod i mewn i hyn yw drwy'r ffaith mai ni sy'n cynnal y diwydiant yn ystod y flwyddyn.
I'll hand over to Amanda in just a second, but we have heard these claims and we've been looking back to 2012, and we're producing more dramas now than we've almost ever done. What's good to see is that recent international sales have been staggering. A number of drama series have been sold internationally. We've sold Byw Celwydd, for example, to the United States. So, in some respects, it's a golden age for us, in seeing what the output is and how that's developed. So, from our point of view, I would say that things are going well at the moment. The kind of productions that are being made are crucial to us as a channel. I think the next step for us is to ensure that we don't have a situation of feast and famine, and that these major productions come into Wales. Where the BBC and S4C come into this is that we, actually, maintain the industry throughout the year.
A ydych chi'n credu ei bod hi'n mynd i fod yn bosibl i chi gael oes euraidd os bydd toriadau pellach yn dod, os bydd y dull o ariannu S4C yn mynd i fynd i mewn i drwydded y BBC a bod arian DCMS yn mynd i, efallai, fynd? A ydych chi'n credu bod cael mwy o gynyrchiadau'n mynd i fod yn bosibl o dan y straen gyllidebol hynny?
Do you think it's possible for you to have that golden era if there are further cuts, if the funding of S4C is going to go into the BBC licence and that the DCMS funding ceases? Do you think that achieving more productions under that funding stress will be possible?
Rwy'n credu bod rhaid i ni fod yn ddyfeisgar, ac rwy'n credu bod rhaid i ni feddwl am ffyrdd lle rŷm ni'n gallu cystadlu gyda'r mawrion mewn ffyrdd ychydig yn wahanol. Mae yna lot o bethau wedi digwydd yn ddiweddar sydd yn galonogol iawn o ran diwylliant teledu yn gyffredinol ar draws y byd. Mae yna buzzwords fel 'local is universal' sy'n golygu bod S4C a Chymru yn gallu cystadlu mewn ffordd nad oedden nhw o'r blaen. Mae cynnwys sydd yn cymryd y diriogaeth ac sydd yn cymryd y diwylliant fel USP arbennig iawn yn gallu cael ei werthu nawr yn rhyngwladol. Felly, mae yna gyfle euraidd, rwy'n credu, o ran pa mor barod y mae'r byd i dderbyn cynnwys Cymraeg drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg ac am Gymru. Rwy'n credu ei bod hi'n her—wrth gwrs ei bod hi—ond mae'n rhaid i ni fod yn ddyfeisgar, fel rŷm ni wedi bod hyd yn hyn, ac mae'n rhaid i ni barhau i gydweithio a chyd-gynhyrchu gyda chwmnïau yng Nghymru a thu draw er mwyn sicrhau bod enw da S4C, Cymru a'r diwydiant yng Nghymru yn cael ei ledu.
I think we have to be innovative, and we have to think about ways in which we can compete with the big players in a slightly different way. There are a number of things that have happened recently that are hugely encouraging in terms of the culture of television on a global basis. Buzzwords such as 'local is universal' mean that S4C and Wales can compete in a way that wasn't possible previously. Content that takes the culture and the geography as a USP can now be sold internationally, so I think there is a golden opportunity in terms of how willing the world is to accept Welsh content both through the medium of Welsh and content about Wales. It is a challenge—of course it is—but we have to innovative, as we have been doing up until now, and we have to continue to co-produce and co-operate with companies in Wales and outwith Wales to ensure that the reputation of S4C, Wales and the industry in Wales can spread.
Diolch. Jest o ran stiwdios, rydym ni wedi clywed gan ITV yn y gweithdy a gawsom ni nad ydyn nhw'n credu bod yna ddigon o le o ran stiwdios yma yng Nghymru, a wedyn bod hynny efallai'n cwtogi ar yr hyn sy'n gallu cael ei greu yma yng Nghymru. A ydych chi'n cytuno gyda hynny, neu a ydych chi'n credu bod yna le digonol os ydych chi am fod yn greadigol a defnyddio adeiladau gwahanol, efallai?
Thank you. Just in terms of studios, we heard from ITV in the workshop that we held that they don't think there is sufficient space in terms of studios in Wales and that that perhaps inhibits what's being created in Wales. Do you agree with that, or do you feel that there is sufficient space if you want to be creative and use different buildings?
Efallai y byddai'n werth clywed gan Simon ar hynny, ond jest cwpwl o bwyntiau ar hynny. Mae'n rhaid i ni gofio pam mae BBC Studios wedi cael ei greu. Cyn y flwyddyn ddiwethaf, mi oedd hanner holl wariant y BBC ar raglenni yn cael ei warantu i'r timau mewnol o fewn y BBC. Mae'r gwarantu yna wedi diflannu yn siarter newydd, felly mae o'n dirlun cwbl agored—mae yna gystadleuaeth agored. Felly, mae hynny wedi rhyddhau bron i £0.25 biliwn i'r sector annibynnol gystadlu amdano am y tro cyntaf erioed. Felly, mi oedd dechreuad BBC Studios yn gam anferthol i'r sector annibynnol oherwydd, am y tro cyntaf, mi oedd yna farchnad agored.
Nawr, wrth gwrs, yn sgil hynny, rydym ni wedi penderfynu rhoi'r sefydliad cynhyrchu teledu ar sail fasnachol, felly mae BBC Studios yn gallu cystadlu am waith gan gynhyrchwyr eraill. Ond un o oblygiadau hynny yw nad ydym ni'n cefnogi BBC Studios gydag arian y drwydded. Yr unig incwm sydd gan BBC Studios yw'r arian y mae'n ennill o'r comisiynwyr. Felly, mae o'n subsidiary masnachol go iawn heb arian cyhoeddus yn llwyfan iddi, yn wahanol i fel oedd hi pan oedd hi'n adran fewnol.
It may be worth hearing from Simon on that, but just a few points first. We have to bear in mind why BBC Studios was created. Before last year, half of all BBC expenditure on programming was guaranteed to internal teams within the BBC. That guararantee has disappeared under the new charter, so it's an entirely open landscape—it's an open competition. That's released almost £0.25 billion for the independent sector to compete for for the first time ever. So, the inception of BBC Studios was a huge step for the independent sector, because, for the very first time, there was an open market.
In light of that, we've decided to put the television production sector on a commercial basis, so BBC Studios can compete for work from other producers. But one of the implications of that is that we don't support BBC Studios with licence fee money. The only income that BBC Studios has is the income that it generates from commissioners. So, it is a real commercial subsidiary without public funding underpinning it, unlike how it was when it was an internal department.
Simon, do you want to add to that?
Okay, yes. So, I think there are two levels, whether you're talking about studio space or studios in general. My job as head of drama Wales is to make as many shows as possible out of Roath Lock and to build their drama slate, building on top of, obviously, Dr Who, which is running at the moment, and we have Casualty and Pobol y Cwm, which are in Roath Lock but in a slightly different structure. So, I think, going forward, everything I have to do is to find commissioners to buy into what we're making and to make more shows that are locally produced, produced out of Roath Lock and produced in other studios around as Roath Lock will not be capable of making innumerable shows.
Now, I think the challenge of anything in the development structure is to get people to buy into what we're making. That is a huge challenge. I have a brilliant team that I've now assembled in Roath Lock and that is based out of Wales, so they're working with Welsh writers and across-the-board Welsh talent. We're working with, obviously, the BBC through Nick Andrews' team in BBC Wales and through Ben Irving's team in network—
You're not in a position where you need to turn things down because there's not enough space—I mean the actual physical space. You still can—
At the moment, Dr Who is going to different spaces, but we are—. I think, at the moment there is probably sufficient space for what is going on. Obviously, the nature of these—. You know, if everybody—. Obviously, Bad Wolf is making a lot of stuff and they have a huge studio. There are a lot of people coming here to make things now. If everybody is making it at the same time, I'm sure there will be a problem, but these things all operate in cycles, and, at the moment, for BBC Studios, I'm very much at the development stage of a cycle because we launched only a year ago. Dr Who is now up and running, but in the main, generally, you tend to look at a two to three-year cycle for making new shows from a flat start point. So, I will be able to tell you in a year or two's time whether or not we need more studio space. But, I think, as I say, at the moment, I couldn't necessarily possibly comment, in the whole, for the industry here.
Symud ymlaen yn awr at gwestiynau gan Mick Antoniw.
Moving on now to questions from Mick Antoniw.
I struggle, really, to understand exactly what is happening when you've been thrown to the wolves of competition now—you've been thrown to a sort of open market, a deregulated market. What are the main opportunities for you that arise out of that? We know obviously there are going to be a lot of challenges and difficulties, but what are the real opportunities for you? What are the opportunities for Wales out of the changes?
I would say, in general, it means that we are not limited. As an in-house department, yes, we had a guarantee of 50 per cent across the board, but we could only make for the BBC. There was a certain amount of co-production of work before, but we are now in a marketplace whereby we have proliferating platforms. At the moment, everybody wants drama, whether they be Apple or Amazon or Netflix, or just terrestrial channels or digital channels. There's an enormous marketplace out there, and that does mean everything about the structure of what they've set up as the regional and the hub structure of BBC studios; I'm head of drama Wales and everything I do has to be made here. My creative challenge is to service however many platforms and however many channels I possibly can. But, I am geographically located here and I need to use the skills in the teams here.
I think the other thing I'd say, just a cultural point, which is this point about being thrown to the wolves: this is the most exciting, dynamic time in terms of high-end television production we have ever seen, and if you—
Why do you say that? What are the—
Because of the growth in high-end television across the world, because of the emergence of new players like Amazon and Apple and Netflix, the demand for high-end television skills is at an unprecedented level. It's not an accident that Bad Wolf has been created, it's because there is a significant commercial opportunity out there. The point I would make in the context of BBC Studios is, if you are a talented writer or a talented producer, you want the widest possible market to aim your services at. So, if we go back to two years ago, if you were working in Roath Lock and you had a brilliant drama idea, if the BBC drama commissioner didn't share your enthusiasm for that idea, that idea was gone. Now, when Simon and his team are working on ideas and developing their ideas, they can take the ideas to the BBC, to Channel 4, to Amazon, they can look at the global marketplace and see opportunities. So, clearly, there's risk in opening up to competition, but right now I would say the market has never been a more exciting space.
And you obviously start from a very—I won't say privileged, but in many ways as a market leader within that field, because of the nature of the history, but the challenge is whether you can actually maintain that or not.
I think it's worth making the point that I think the context has changed dramatically in the last two or three years. If you look at the BBC's expenditure on television content, in the last year it was around £2 billion; if you look at Netflix's budget this year, it is in the order of £8 billion. So, the old days of seeing the BBC as a giant in the production ecology—the game has changed. So, we need to be more agile, we need to be a lot more entrepreneurial, and I think it's very important that the BBC has a successful production arm, because the success of BBC Studios means we can reinvest back into content for our public services. But, if you're going to attract talent into our production arm, they need to be able to see the entire global space as their marketplace.
Our interest, obviously, is the development of the industry and the status of the industry within Wales. Are there particular challenges to that? Because BBC Studios, for example, can see its interests lying in terms of what demands are made by some of these companies you mentioned, like Amazon and Netflix and so on.
I think there are always challenges, but in the conversations I've had with BBC Studios—and I'm sure Simon's got a perspective on this—I don't think it's a binary discussion about whether Studios is interested in Wales or interested in the global market; Studios is interested in growing and it's interested in attracting talent. I think, in the work that I've seen Simon developing over recent months, there is real talent here, there are really terrific storytellers, and if you've got the right story, as we've seen with the success of Un Bore Mercher and Keeping Faith, when you've got the right storytellers in the right place, you can suddenly go from a place where we used to have just Welsh hits that we kind of kept to ourselves, to these now being hits that can roll out internationally. That's really exciting.
I read your background paper. In terms of Welsh Government, in terms of the role of this committee, which is to focus on the industry, on the jobs, the training, all the things that go around it and to influence Welsh Government, what are the things that you think could be done by Welsh Government that would actually assist in that growth, in that development? What are the things that we could do? If there are things that we could specifically do, what should they be?
Is that to me or is that to all of us?
Well, to all of you.
I think there are several things that the Government have done that are very welcome—you know, the investment in the sector, I think, is welcome. The biggest point I'd make is back to the point I was talking about—feast and famine. When you mentioned the financial constraints we're under—we are under financial constraints, and why don't we make more films? Because we haven't got the money to make more films. We invest what is a sizeable element of our budget in dramas and we've had some very great successes in that, but we have to cut our cloth.
I think over the past five years, particularly from S4C, the Hargreaves report effectively showed that without S4C's budget—£67 million a year, £19 million from the BBC—it would be difficult for the independent sector to survive in Wales. I think, over the past five years, we have had to look to bigger suppliers providing more critical mass and more efficiencies because our commissioning rates are probably about a quarter of what you'd see BBC or Channel 4 spending.
What that's meant for the Welsh economy is that, yes, there's less money going in, but also you've seen consolidation of the industry. Now, that's good and bad. It's good in the fact that we get efficiencies; we get economies of scale; we get strong companies who can provide security of supply for us. What it also means is that the freelance sector, for example, in Wales, is not what it was. A lot of the companies have taken those people on and the amount of freelancers who are available to come in when there are large film projects is not what it was.
I think one of the things that, at S4C, we're struggling with at the moment, is how do we reinject a vibrancy into the economy that actually allows the smaller production companies to gain commissions, to be able to pitch ideas and also to be able to generate that amount of work that allows a freelance sector also to survive? I think that's one of the big challenges for us. I think one of the things I've probably been looking forward to is working to the Government on, you know, what is the industrial strategy, rather than having what are very welcome but relatively passive investment vehicles, into, you know, 'What is the structure for Wales?' We will always, all of us, have the independence of editorial control over what we commission, but there are then questions about how we sustain the economy, how we sustain the industry and how we locate that industry. So, I think those are the areas I'd probably be looking for in the future. I don't know if Amanda wants to—
No, I absolutely agree. I think any sort of broadcaster benefits hugely from having a very effective creative ecosystem. That means small players, big players, people who come from publisher-broadcaster models, who are owned by other broadcasters. It's diversity, it's equality of opportunity and it's supporting talent growth and new talent that really matters to us as a broadcaster. It's having that ecosystem that enables us to take risks where we should, to experiment where we should.
I think that in terms of what the Government could do to support that, as Owen was saying, any support is very welcome whether it comes in the form of funding or whether it comes in the form of a sort of industrial strategy that looks holistically at the sector and talks about how it can feed a really vibrant broadcasting community. I think clarity, equality and purpose would be the three things I would say would be really important to bear in mind when strategising for supporting the industry: clarity in terms of making sure that processes, accessibility to those processes and the speed of processes are effective and in line with what the industry needs; equality in terms of making sure that there is equal opportunity for all to buy into and to try for those funds or support; and I think purpose comes back to what Owen was saying, which is that sense of how it feeds into the bigger economy, which then feeds our place, essentially, as a broadcaster in the UK and beyond.
It is an enormous industry—the number of companies and the number of people it employs is actually quite phenomenal. I wasn't aware of the actual scale and I suspect many members of the public aren't aware of it. If there were one or two things you'd say that Government has really got to get its act together on, what would you say they were? What's your wish list of the one or two things that you would say, 'This is what you've got to do'? Or is that too simplistic?
Yes, and I suppose I'll come back to saying it's working with the broadcasters to create an industrial strategy.
Just to add to that, I think I'm always wary of looking to Government to find what the sector needs. In a sense, I think there's more we can do as a sector to come together and articulate the particular challenges. I think if you look at the last few years, the key interventions that I think Welsh Government have made are around building infrastructure and capacity. I've listened to various evidence sessions, and obviously there are different people who have a different view on whether they are focused on the right things. All I would say is, if you travel around the UK, probably with the exception of Northern Ireland, people look jealously on the scale of infrastructure that has been created in Wales, and therefore our ability to attract major producers here and major productions here is greater than many other parts of the UK. But I do think to sustain that and to grow that, but also to ensure that we've got new companies and new talent coming through, the skills challenge is probably the critical issue, and I'm not sure that's for the Government to solve. It can clearly support in terms of the funding, but I think that's also for the sector to drive and really to work through what is needed. But it is the skills and the people challenge that I think will be the critical one in terms of maintaining the momentum of recent years.
Diolch yn fawr iawn. Suzy Davies.
Thank you very much. Suzy Davies.
Yes. Some of my questions are to the BBC, if that's okay, but perhaps you can come in when I'm talking about productions here.
The first thing I wanted to quickly ask, going back to your point about independent companies now finding things quite difficult in some cases, has the creation of BBC Studios yet created a space where more independent companies are getting commissions from the BBC, or possibly co-production? Or is it a bit early to say yet?
Well, two things have happened at the same time. So, firstly, you've seen the creation of BBC Studios. The second thing we've seen is significant new investment into Welsh production—as in, English language Welsh television. So, what we've seen over the last 18 months is a quite dramatic increase in our expenditure in the independent sector, partly because of open competition, partly because we've got more money to spend. So, if you take the last three or four days, there was the Port Talbot Balls of Steel programme on Monday with Folk Films, Darlun's series on dementia last night, and, I think, Folk again with The Family Farm. A lot of the significant new investments we're making in landmark television are being run by the independent sector. So, there is still a significant body of work that BBC Studios is doing, and they're busy working on other projects that I'm sure they'll bring to us in due course, but, yes, there's clearly been quite a significant change in our ability to commission at scale. One of the other things that we've done, partly because of the competitive pressures, is move our tariffs. So, we've very significantly increased our factual tariffs, particularly, and that was with two objectives in mind: one was to raise the bar in terms of the ambition and scale of what we were delivering on screen, and the second was to see far more of our productions here in Wales also being shown on UK screens.
I'm going to ask you about that in a second.
I think we've said before the committee before that in terms of the new productions with the new money, we'd expect 80 per cent of those to transfer to network, and we're on track to deliver that. I mean, Hidden, which is obviously the version of Craith, which has already been shown on S4C, will air both on BBC One Wales and BBC Four. Given the concerns I know there are generally and within this committee around the portrayal and representation of Wales on network services, I think that's got to be a real priority for us. But we're seeing, across the board—. The Family Farm, showing in Wales at the moment, will air on BBC Two in the coming weeks. Time and time again now, we're seeing what were regarded as local productions immediately transferring onto network, and that's as it should be.
Thank you. As I said, I'm going to develop that a little bit further in a minute. I wanted to ask S4C then, if the independent sector is picking up more commissioning from the BBC—I'm not talking about co-commissioning now—does that mean you've got fewer places to go when you're looking to commission Welsh language programmes?
It's interesting because in one sense we're both collaborators and competitors with the BBC, and that's quite a healthy place to be sometimes. And not just with the BBC; it means that we must collaborate and work with other broadcasters. We're already talking to Channel 4 and Channel 5 about certain projects and co-producing with them. So, our horizons are very broad. One of the challenges is that we have less money to spend than other broadcasters, which comes back to the fact that we have to be inventive. That can sometimes be—. That can sometimes mean that we have to be more inventive, which, in itself, is a good creative place to be. I'm very, very proud of the fact that Un Bore Mercher is an S4C original, and that that was developed to full eight scripts before any other broadcaster was involved. Similarly, with Craith, we're in a position where we have no choice but to take very measured and calculated risks, and that means that, actually, we're in a very creative place sometimes. So, it's interesting; we have to find ways of working with what we've got. We have to find ways of being inventive and collaborative in order to be able to compete. But we're not doing too badly.
No, no. Okay, thank you. That'll lead me to my next question, then. Because obviously you collaborate on some commissions; I understand that. BBC, you might remember when we were having a previous inquiry here that we were a little bit concerned that the renewed charter was placing a target of 5 per cent spend and 5 per cent production in Wales as part of the charter, for BBC Wales. At the time, this committee was told we needn't worry about that because spend was 7.8 per cent and, actually, 5 per cent felt like a floor rather than a ceiling, but in that period of time, that 7.8 per cent spend has gone down to 5.8 per cent. I'm encouraged by what you've just said in the sense that there's more production being made here and that will be networked, but is there an explanation, apart from the fact that you don't have much money to make drama—we accept that—for that drop last year?
Yes. It dropped last year because there was no Doctor Who series.
It's as straightforward as that.
Yes. The annual report will be published by the BBC in July, but I'm safe to say that level will have increased again.
Okay. Are you hoping it's going to be over 7.8 over the course of time, even if it's just stuff you're doing, or in collaboration? I don't mind.
Well, it's worth separating these two things. So, the collaboration that we're doing, for example, on Craith or Un Bore Mercher is BBC Wales money. So, that wouldn't show in those statistics that you're citing. Those statistics are about network expenditure in Wales. But, occasionally, during the cycle of Doctor Who over the last 10 years, there have been years where there's been a fallow year, if you like, and because that particular year that you're looking at was a year when Doctor Who didn't air, those numbers are missing from that year. So, you do get some—to refer to Simon's point earlier—you do get cycles, but in every single year since these numbers were set, BBC Wales has exceeded the target by between 15 and 20 per cent, and it will be beyond that in the next annual report.
Well, that's good to hear. Is this data actually available outside the annual report? Because I think we did ask for it—not from you, from Tony Hall—and we never got that.
Well, it's published in the annual report every year. So it's—
This is on portrayal data, Suzy.
This is specifically on portrayal.
Sorry. I thought you were talking about the expenditure.
Yes, I am, but—
So, on portrayal, there are tonnes of projects, so I'm very happy to list them all, but you'd probably find that a little tedious. But, as I say, more and more of the programmes that we're making in Wales are being shown on network. We're seeing network productions like Requiem also based in Wales. So, I think, compared to where we were two or three years ago—and we could probably have counted those projects on the fingers of one hand—I think we're in a much healthier state. But if the committee would like a note in terms of the projects that have aired over the recent months, I'm very happy to provide that.
It would be quite helpful, for us to attest that. I mean, I know that was about portrayal—
But can I just—? Sorry to intervene.
No, that's fine.
What we actually asked was—. Sorry, Lord Hall said that
'Every network genre in television now has a portrayal objective. That’s monitored quarterly, the analysis is looked at with Rhodri and other directors from nations with Charlotte Moore'.
We didn't want a list; we wanted to try and get an idea of that data.
With respect to the committee, I don't think that would be appropriate for us to share. So, to be clear what that is—
That's the first time we've heard that.
Well, let me explain what that is. So, every month, or every other month, we look at what productions from Wales in terms of portrayal we're developing—so, what are the ideas that are on the table? We look at a list of productions that have been green-lit—as in the money has been secured for them, they're about to go into production—and then we look at the productions that have aired. So, I'm very happy to provide the committee with a list of productions that have aired, but I don't think it would be appropriate for me, given the commercial confidentiality of those conversations, but also in terms of our relationship with the key independents we work with—. I think it's far better we concentrate on what has been broadcast than in terms of commissioning plans that are developing internally to the BBC.
Can I ask, finally, in terms of portrayal—I suppose you can both answer this, actually—what are your criteria or what are your definitions of portrayal? So, for example, for something like Keeping Faith, I would say that probably does portray Wales very well, even if it's not a specifically Welsh story, but where's your line?
Maybe I'm a little bit simplistic on this stuff. I think we know portrayal when we see it. So, I don't think there's any doubt that Keeping Faith is a portrayal drama. You can get into wonderful cycles of debate around these. Alex Jones on The One Show or Huw Edwards on the 10 o'clock news—is that portrayal of Wales? I would argue not; it's fantastic that they're on air every night in terms of Welsh talent, but for me, it's about where stories are set and what they're inspired by. That's, if you like, the definition—
It's to avoid the Line of Duty argument.
Line of Duty is not portrayal, because Line of Duty is shot in Northern Ireland, but it is very much an English city in terms of its setting. Casualty is shot in Wales, but is very much based in Bristol—Holby was always Bristol. So, I would never claim that those pieces, and I don't think the BBC would ever claim that those pieces, were portrayal.
That's what I was hoping you were going to say. Thank you.
Perhaps the other aspect on the portrayal bit is the inter-Wales bit. There's a linguistic angle to some of the commissions that we make, and Bang was probably a good example of this. We do tend to see that where the drama, for example, is shot, you tend to get a greater audience from that area of Wales than you would otherwise. I think Bang is a good example, because we struggle sometimes; linguistically Wales struggles in that area. I think it was a statement on behalf of S4C and others that we're trying to get to the areas of Wales that have been less represented in some respects, linguistically. I think Bang was a great example, where we managed to break through in the Port Talbot area, and we brought new audiences to the channel. So, I think that, even within Wales sometimes, portrayal is quite important.
That's an interesting point. Thank you for that. Diolch.
I would also say that that is one of the big things that we're doing at the moment in BBC Studios Wales here. A huge part of my development list is to develop shows that are based here with Welsh writing talent—Welsh talent across the board—and showing Welsh lives and getting that onto network television or more regional television across the board, but telling stories that do resonate with the Welsh audience.
[Inaudible.]—just the importance of the ownership, I suppose, almost the banking of the intellectual property of all these ideas and things that are coming through. Is that something that is an area of growth? What is its value? Is it an indication in terms of the growth of the industry within Wales? How does it affect the—?
From a BBC perspective, there are certainly projects where the IP potential is far greater. We need to remember that with most productions, the IP essentially sits with the independent producer. So, in the case of Craith or Un Bore Mercher, it'll be the production company that is largely driving the IP potential off the back of that. But I think the globalisation of the market means that it's much easier than it used to be in terms of taking product to market and finding buyers, because just the proliferation of services internationally means that that's a much bigger opportunity.
I think there is a challenge here. I think that what we're seeing, in terms of the consolidation of the independent sector, both in Wales and the UK, is far more—. I think I'm right in saying that only about 40 per cent of the independent sector now in the UK is UK-owned, because we've seen a level of multinational and global growth, and we need to watch that. There's nothing wrong—
That's things like Netflix and things like that, is it?
Well, it's not so much that, but if you look at the big independents, or what we used to term the big independent businesses, a lot of them are being purchased by broadcasters, or what were traditionally broadcasters, and they become vertically integrated. You see a lot of smaller, very successful independent production companies in the UK being bought by large production companies, internationally—European or US. That's a sign of the vibrancy of the market, but, of course, if you end up with fewer, larger suppliers and their focus is exclusively on international markets and not on our own cultural requirements here, there is a danger there. So, the answer to that is not to moan about it; I think the answer is how do you stimulate the sector to make sure you've got sufficient indigenous businesses that are growing their own IP, their own talent, their own ideas, to complement the international market.
Okay, thank you.
Beth am yr eiddo deallusol o ran S4C? Achos rydw i'n gwybod bod y rhaglen rydych chi newydd sôn amdano, Bang, eisiau ehangu, ac eisiau mynd ar blatfformau gwahanol, ac efallai yn gweld hynny fel sialens oherwydd y ffaith eu bod nhw wedi dewis ei wneud e trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, ac maen nhw'n deall, efallai, nad yw hynny mor boblogaidd yn y farchnad.
What about the intellectual property in terms of S4C? Because I know that the programme you've just mentioned, Bang, for example, wanted to expand and go to other platforms, but perhaps they saw that as a challenge because they've chosen to work through the medium of Welsh and perhaps that's not popular in the market.
Mae Roger wedi dweud ei fod wedi'i ffeindio yn anoddach i werthu Bang yn rhyngwladol, achos mae yn y Gymraeg. Dros y pedair blynedd, pum mlynedd diwethaf, mae pethau wedi mynd yn haws, ond nid ydyn nhw'n hawdd eto. Mae'r ffaith bod rhaglenni, yn enwedig o Sgandinafia, wedi dod draw—mae pobl yn awr yn fwy tebygol o fod yn hapus i wylio rhywbeth efo is-deitlau. Felly, mae pethau'n mynd yn haws, ond nid ydyn nhw'n hawdd eto.
Beth sy'n galonogol yw—roedd Amanda yn Llundain ddoe yn trafod efo distributors rhyngwladol, ac mae yna fwy o ddiddordeb nawr achos mae'r cynnyrch yn dda. Os mae'r cynnyrch yn dda, mi ddaw pobl i Gymru i edrych ar beth rydym ni'n ei wneud. Felly, efo ni, rydym ni'n gweithio efo cwmnïau nawr efo pethau fel formats, ond hefyd, os oes gennym ni gynnyrch cryf, mi ddaw pobl i weld beth rydym ni'n ei wneud.
Roger has said that he found it more difficult to sell Bang internationally because it is in Welsh, but I think over the last four or five years, things have got easier, though they're not yet easy. The fact that programmes, particularly from Scandinavia, have been exported—people are happier now to watch programmes with subtitles. So, things are getting easier, but they're not easy yet.
What's encouraging is—Amanda was in London yesterday having a discussion with international distributors, and there is more interest now, because the output is of a high quality. If the output is of a high quality then people will come to Wales and look at what we're doing. So, we're now working with companies on things like formats, but if we have strong projects then people will come and see what we're doing.
Rwy'n credu bod pwysigrwydd IP a bod yn berchen ar hawliau yn eich cynnyrch eich hun yn hanfodol i greu sector sydd yn gallu ffynnu yng Nghymru. Fel rhywun a oedd yn arfer rhedeg cwmni cynhyrchu bach, rwy'n deall yn union sut mae gwerthiannau yn gallu cynnal cwmni trwy gyfnod ychydig mwy cynnil, pan nad yw comisiynau yn dod mewn, ac mae angen datblygu syniadau. Rwy'n gwybod ei fod e'n bwysig ein bod ni fel darlledwr yn helpu cwmnïau cynhyrchu i gael y patrwm yna, y virtuous cycle hwnnw, yn digwydd. Mae'n golygu eu bod nhw'n gallu buddsoddi mwy mewn datblygu a chadw eu cwmnioedd nhw i fynd heb fod yn orddibynnol ar un darlledwr i'w cynnal nhw trwy gydol hynny.
Fel mae Owen yn ei ddweud, success breeds success, a'r pwynt yw, y mwyaf rydym ni'n ei wneud sydd yn llwyddo, y mwyaf mae'r dosbarthwyr yn dod atom ni nawr, ac yn dweud, 'Beth sydd gyda chi nesaf? Beth allem ni drafod gyda chi? Sut allem ni brynu mewn i bethau yn gynt a'u datblygu nhw ar y cyd gyda chi?' Rydym ni mewn trafodaethau diddorol iawn gyda sawl dosbarthwr sy'n golygu ein bod ni'n gallu agor drysau i'r sector a chreu partneriaethau a chynnig cyfle iddyn nhw o'r cychwyn i werthfawrogi beth yw gwerth yr IP hwnnw a sut mae'n gallu cyfrannu at yr ecosystem yma, a hefyd twf economaidd y sector.
I think the importance of IP and owning the rights of your own productions is vital for the sector. As someone who used to run a small production company, I totally understand how sales can sustain a company through a more austere period when commissions aren't coming in and when there's a need to develop ideas. I know that it's important that we as a broadcaster help production companies get that virtuous cycle of patterns. It means that they can invest more into development and sustain their companies so that they're not dependent on one broadcaster.
As Owen said, success breeds success, and the point is that the more we succeed, the more distributors come to us and ask, 'What have you got going on next? What can we discuss with you? How can we buy into things sooner and develop them with you jointly?' We're in very interesting discussions with many distributors so that we can open doors for the sector and create partnerships and offer opportunities to them from the beginning to appreciate what is the value of that IP, and how it can contribute to that ecosystem, and also towards the economic growth of the sector.
Un o'r pethau ar ran y Llywodraeth, efallai, sy'n bwysig yw: beth rydym ni wedi'i weld dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf yw ei fod e'n anodd cael llais Cymru yn weledigol ar draws y byd, ond wrth i ni edrych ar wledydd Sgandinafia, fel esiampl, maen nhw'n dod at ei gilydd. Un o'r pethau rydym ni wedi bod yn trafod yn ddiweddar—. Roedd gŵyl ffilm Celtaidd yn Llanelli yn ddiweddar, ac rydym ni, TG4 ac Alba yn dod at ein gilydd i frandio pethau ar ran y gwledydd Celtaidd, achos bydd mwy o lais gyda ni. Dyna un o'r pethau rydym ni'n gweithio arno nawr. Felly, mae rôl S4C a'r Llywodraeth fel math o facilitators a gallu mynd â'n cynnyrch ni i'r farchnad, rydw i'n credu, yn bwysig iawn.
I think one of the important things for Government is: what we've seen over the past few years is that it's difficult to get the Welsh voice heard on a global level, but if we look at the Scandinavian nations as an example, they come together. One of the things that we've been discussing recently at the Celtic film festival in Llanelli—ourselves, TG4 and Alba are going to come together to brand things with a Celtic brand, because that will strengthen our voice, and that's one of the things that we're working on now. So, the role of S4C and the Government as facilitators in taking our produce to markets, I think, is hugely important.
Na—mae Mick wedi gofyn y cwestiwn.
No—I think Mick's covered that question.
Ocê. Rydw i jest eisiau gofyn: rydym ni wedi siarad tipyn bach ynglŷn â Llywodraeth Cymru a'r gyllideb fuddsoddi yn y cyfryngau. Roeddwn i jest eisiau cael rhyw fath o syniad, os oes gennych chi farn, ynglŷn â sut mae hynny wedi gweithredu yn eich barn chi. A ydy e wedi bod yn effeithiol, neu a ydych chi'n cytuno gydag Euros Lyn, a oedd wedi dod mewn a dweud bod angen efallai cael pot o arian i bobl gynhenid o Gymru sydd yn gallu brwydro gyda'r cwmnïau mawr? Ar hyn o bryd, mae Ffilm Cymru yn rhoi pytiau o arian i bobl, ac mae'r gyllideb buddsoddi yn y cyfryngau yn gwneud hynny, ond efallai bod yna le yn y canol ar gyfer gwneud mwy. Beth yw eich barn chi yn hynny o beth? Rwy'n gwybod roedd Ed Talfan i mewn hefyd yn rhoi barn. Efallai eich bod chi eisiau rhoi sylwad ar hynny.
I just wanted to ask: we've spoken a little bit about the Welsh Government and the media investment budget. I just wanted to have some sort of idea whether you have a view on this—on how this has worked. Has it been effective, or do you agree with Euros Lyn, who came in and said that perhaps there was a need to have a pot of money for indigenous people in Wales so that they could compete with these large companies? At the moment, Ffilm Cymru provides sums of money to people, and the media investment budget provides funding, but perhaps there's room in the middle to do more. What are your views on that? Ed Talfan was also expressing his views on this. So, perhaps you'd like to comment on that.
Diwedd y gân yw bod yn rhaid i ni roi beth sydd orau ar y sianel. Dyna beth sy'n bwysig i ni. Wrth gwrs, mae cael cynhyrchwyr cynhenid yn bwysig, ond mae'n rhaid i ni gael y stwff gorau, a felly mae cystadleuaeth yn bwysig i ni. Mae e wastad yn gwestiwn o falans o gwmpas a oes rôl i'r Llywodraeth i amharu â'r rôl golygyddol. Mae hwn wastad yn demtasiwn, ond i ni, rhoi'r rhaglenni gorau ar y sgrin yw'r peth pwysig.
I fynd nôl at y pwynt a wnaeth Rhodri gynnau fach—
At the end of the day, we have to do what's best for the channel, and of course having indigenous producers is very important, but we have to get the best output, so competition is important to us. It's always a question of balance around whether there is a role for Government to cut across the editorial role, and that's always a temptation, but for us, it's getting the best output on the screen. That's the most important thing.
To return to a point made by Rhodri earlier—
A ydych chi'n credu bod hynny'n digwydd gyda'r buddsoddiad—eu bod nhw'n amharu?
Do you think that's happening with the investment—that they are intervening?
Na, nid ydw i yn gweld eu bod nhw, i fod yn deg, ond mae e wastad yn balans, ac mae’n rhaid i ni fod yn wyliadwrus o hynny. Rwy’n credu'r pwynt yw—ac fe wnaeth Rhodri sôn amboutu hyn gynnau fach—mae’n rhywbeth sy'n bwysig iawn i S4C, ac rwy’n siŵr y BBC hefyd, ein bod ni’n gweithio fel sector i wneud yn siŵr bod y sgiliau, bod y syniadau, bod y dalent yn dod trwy’r system, achos dyna beth sy’n bwysig. Rydym ni eisiau rhoi’r rhaglenni gorau posib ar y sianel, ond mae’n rhaid i ni wneud yn siŵr bod ysgrifenwyr, cynhyrchwyr, cwmnïau ac actorion Cymraeg yn cael y math o gefndir, a'r math o hyrwyddo hefyd, i raddau, i wneud yn siŵr bod eu talent nhw’n dod trwyddo. Felly, dyna un o’r pethau sy’n bwysig.
No, I don't think they are intervening, to be fair, but it's always a balance and we have to be watchful about that. I think the point is—and Rhodri mentioned it earlier—that it's hugely important for S4C, and I'm sure the same is true for BBC too, that we do work as a sector to ensure that the skills, the ideas and the talent come through the system, because that's what's important. We want to get the best possible programming on the channel, but we have to ensure that writers, producers, companies and actors from Wales are given the kind of development and promotion that they need to ensure that their talent comes through. So, that's important.
Ond a ydych chi'n rhoi, er enghraifft, help ar lawr gwlad i gwmnïau i allu ceisio am y buddsoddiad yma? Achos, pan oedd Roger wedi dod i mewn, o ran Bang, roedd e’n dweud yr oedd yn lot, lot o waith iddo fe i siarad â'r gweision sifil, i siarad â Pinewood, ac wedyn mae hynny’n cymryd lan lot o amser i gyrraedd y pwynt lle mae’r cynllun yn gallu mynd ar S4C. Felly, sut ydych chi’n gweithio gyda chynhyrchwyr i'w helpu nhw?
But, do you, for example, provide assistance to companies to make a bid for this funding? For example, when Roger came in, with regard to Bang, he said it was a lot of work for him to speak to civil servants, to talk to Pinewood, and then that takes up a lot of time to reach the point where the idea can appear on S4C. So, how do you work with producers to help them?
Rydym ni wedi bod lled braich o gael access i'r arian hwnnw oherwydd y cynhyrchwyr sydd yn mynd, o fodd eu hunain, i drafod. Ond rŷm ni’n gefnogol ble bynnag y gallem ni fod—yn gefnogol o unrhyw help mae’r Llywodraeth yn gallu cynnig, ond hefyd yn gefnogol o’r cwmnïau cynhyrchu wrth iddyn nhw drio strwythuro’r ddêl. Wrth gwrs, mae effeithlonrwydd a pha mor chwim mae’r broses yna’n digwydd yn effeithio arnom ni hefyd, oherwydd, os ŷm ni’n buddsoddi ac yn golygu comisiynu rhaglen sydd yn ddibynnol ar arian yn dod o le arall, mae’n hollbwysig i ni fod y broses yna’n syml, yn eglur ac yn chwim, a hefyd ei bod hi’n ymateb i anghenion, fel rwy’n dweud, y diwydiant a’r amserlen gynhyrchu rŷm ni’n gweithio iddi.
We've been at arm's length in terms of accessing those funds, because it is the producers who go, off their own bat, to have these discussions. But we're supportive wherever we can be. We're supportive of any assistance that the Government can provide, but also supportive of the companies as they try and structure those deals. Of course, the efficiency and swiftness of that process has an impact on us too, because if we invest and intend to commission a programme that is reliant on funding from elsewhere, then it's crucially important for us that that process is simple, clear and swift, and also that it responds to the needs of the industry and the production timetable that we're working to.
A yw e'n chwim? A yw e'n ddigon cyflym?
Is it fast enough?
Rydym ni wedi cael profiad, yn y gorffennol, yn ail-law, trwy'n cynhyrchwyr ni yn dweud eu bod nhw'n teimlo rhai rhwystredigaethau gyda'r broses hynny. Ond, fel rwy’n dweud, yn ail-law rydym ni’n clywed hynny, oherwydd nid ydym ni'n ymwneud yn uniongyrchol. Felly, unrhyw beth sydd yn gallu digwydd i wneud y broses yn fwy chwim ac effeithlon byddwn ni’n ei groesawu.
We've had experience in the past, second hand, through our producers saying that they did feel some frustrations with that process. But, as I said, that's anecdotal because we're not directly involved. So, anything that can happen to make that process more efficient and swifter, we would welcome.
A oes unrhyw sylwad ar hynny?
Any other comments on that?
Wel, rydw i’n meddwl bod y drafodaeth yr ŷch chi wedi’i chael gyda’r sector yn ddifyr. Mae’n amlwg bod yna—. Fe allaf i ddeall, o ran barn y Llywodraeth ar hyn, mi oedd angen cefnogi cynyrchiadau a oedd yn mynd i greu gwaith. Fe allaf i ddeall, o ran polisi economaidd y Llywodraeth, fod creu gwaith a denu gwaith i Gymru yn flaenoriaeth. Rydw i’n meddwl beth sydd hefyd angen ei ddeall yn hwn yw bod yna gystadleuaeth anferthol ym Mhrydain ac yn rhyngwladol i ddenu gwaith i wahanol ranbarthau. Felly, beth sy’n bwysig, buaswn i'n dweud, o ran agwedd y Llywodraeth, yw bod y cynnig i’r sector neu i’r cynyrchiadau hyn yn glir. Rydw i wedi ymwneud, hefyd, â Northern Ireland Screen a rhai rhanbarthau eraill, ac mae o’n fyd cystadleuol tu hwnt. Felly, mae argaeledd yr arian yn bwysig.
Wrth gwrs, buaswn i’n dweud, fel pennaeth BBC Cymru, bod sicrhau bod yna falans rhwng dod â gwaith fel cynyrchiadau mawr Americanaidd i mewn i Gymru a hefyd sicrhau bod yna gefnogaeth i gwmnïau sydd eisiau dweud straeon sydd yn wreiddiol i’n profiad ni yma yng Nghymru hefyd yn bwysig. Ond mae hynny’n anodd i’r Llywodraeth, rydw i’n credu. Mae’n anoddach i greu hynny fel mater polisi, achos fe allaf i ddeall y flaenoriaeth ar swyddi.
I think the discussion you've had with the sector is interesting. Clearly, there is—. I can understand the view of the Government on this; there was a need to support productions that were going to create work. I can understand, in terms of the Government's economic policy, that creating jobs and attracting work to Wales is a priority. I think what's also necessary to understand is that there is great competition in the UK and internationally to attract work to different regions. Therefore, what's important in terms of the Government's attitude is that the offer for the sector or these productions is clear. I've also been involved with Northern Ireland Screen and some other regions, and it is a very competitive world. So, the availability of money is important.
Of course, I would say, as the head of BBC Wales, that ensuring that there is a balance between bringing work such as large American productions into Wales and also ensuring support for companies that want to tell the stories that are at the core of our experience here in Wales is also important. But that is difficult for the Government. It is more difficult to create that as a policy issue, because I can understand the priority on jobs.
Felly, ni fyddech chi'n cytuno bod angen cronfa newydd, neu fod angen, efallai, rhoi mwy o arian i Ffilm Cymru er mwyn helpu'r cwmnïau llai i allu cael mwy o siawns i dyfu'u marchnad.
So, you wouldn't agree that there is a need for a new fund, or that, perhaps, we need to provide more funding for Ffilm Cymru to assist smaller companies to get more opportunities to grow their markets.
Rydw i'n gefnogol iawn o waith Ffilm Cymru ac rydym ni’n bartneriaid gyda Ffilm Cymru. Rydw i’n meddwl eu bod nhw’n gwneud gwaith ardderchog. Beth sy’n bwysig am gyfraniad Ffilm Cymru yw bod yna ymroddiad i ddatblygu a meithrin talent. Felly, nid yw e jest ynglŷn â beth ydy’r project gorau; maen nhw’n edrych yn fanwl ar yr unigolion sy’n cynnig y projectau ac yn ystyried os oes yna botensial i hybu ac i feithrin y talent yna dros gyfnod. Yn mynd yn ôl i beth roeddem ni jest yn trafod o ran sgiliau, mae rhai buddsoddiadau’n cymryd amser i gael eu talu’n ôl. Nid ydyn nhw, weithiau, yn dod nôl yn uniongyrchol ar y project hwnnw, ond mae meithrin talent a sicrhau bod yna gyfarwyddwyr a phobl sgriptio a’n bod ni’n eu cynnal nhw ac yn eu cefnogi nhw dros amser yn bwysig. Rydw i’n meddwl bod Ffilm Cymru’n llwyddiannus iawn yn hynny.
I'm very supportive of the work of Ffilm Cymru and we're in partnership with Ffilm Cymru. I think they do excellent work. What's important about the contribution of Ffilm Cymru is that there is a commitment to develop and nurture talent. So, it's not just about what is the best project; they look in detail at the individuals who are offering these projects and they consider the potential to nurture that talent over a period of time. Going back to what we were just discussing in terms of skills, some investments take time to pay back. They don't, sometimes, come back directly on that project, but nurturing talent and ensuring that there are directors and script writers and that we sustain them and support them over time is important. I think Ffilm Cymru's successful in that.
A ydych chi'n meddwl bod angen cronfa ychwanegol, neu fod angen mwy o arian i Ffilm Cymru, neu a ydych chi'n hapus gyda'r sefyllfa sydd ohoni?
Do you think that there's a need for an additional fund, or that more funding should be provided to Ffilm Cymru, or are you happy with the status quo?
Buasem ni wastad eisiau mwy o arian; buasai pawb yn. Yr elfen i fi yw, beth mae'n rhaid i ni wylio mas sydd ddim yn digwydd yw pwynt Rhodri ein bod ni'n mynd am the baubles. Mae'r projectau mawr yn dod i mewn i Gymru bob hyn a hyn. Beth sy'n bwysig i ni i gyd yw bod yna sector hunangynhaliol, ein bod ni'n gallu cadw ymlaen y gwaith fel bod cwmnïau’n gallu tyfu, bod cwmnïau’n gallu sefydlu, ym mhob ardal o Gymru. Ac i fi, efallai mai dyna'r peth pwysicaf i ni. Wrth gwrs, i Gymru, mae cael y projectau mawr yma i mewn yn bwysig o ran gwaith, o ran portread y wlad, ond beth sydd efallai'n bwysicach i S4C yw gwneud yn siŵr bod gyda ni sector hunangynhaliol yng Nghymru sy'n gallu bidio am waith, wrth gwrs, dros y ffin, ond hefyd sydd â sefydlogrwydd yng Nghymru, eu bod nhw'n gallu cario ymlaen i weithio, i gynnig syniadau, i dyfu, ac i ffynnu.
We would always want more money; everybody would. The element, for me, that we have to watch out for, on Rhodri's point, is that we go for the baubles. The big projects come into Wales now and again. What's important for us all is that there is a self-sufficient sector, that we can continue the work so that companies can grow, that companies can establish here, in every area of Wales. And for me, perhaps, that is the most important issue. Of course, for Wales, attracting these large projects in is important in terms of work and the portrayal of the country, but what is more important for S4C, perhaps, is to ensure that we have a self-sufficient sector in Wales that can bid for work, of course, over the border, but also that has the sustainability to work in Wales, to grow those ideas, and to prosper.
A nid oes dwywaith bod angen i'r Llywodraeth fod yn egnïol yn y maes yma. Mae Cymru wedi cael llwyddiant mawr yn y degawd diwethaf yma, ond, os ydych chi'n edrych ar y diwydiannau creadigol dros Brydain, mae dros 60 y cant o'r swyddi yn Llundain ac yn ne-ddwyrain Lloegr, ac felly mae balans y diwydiant ym Mhrydain dal yn unochrog dros ben. Ac felly fyddwn i ddim am i unrhyw un awgrymu nad oes angen i'r Llywodraeth fod yn flaengar yn y maes yma. Mae'r ecoleg creadigol ym Mhrydain dal yn or-ddibynnol, neu yn or-ffocysu, ar weithgaredd yn Llundain a'r ardal o fewn yr M25.
And there's no doubt that the Government needs to be robust in this area. Wales has had major success over the last decade, but, if you look at the creative industries across Britain, then over 60 per cent of the posts are in London and the south-east of England, and so the balance of the industry in Britain is very lopsided indeed. So, I wouldn't want anyone to suggest that the Government doesn't need to be innovative and active in this area. The creative ecology in Britain is still over-reliant, or overly focused, on activity in London and the M25 corridor.
A beth sy'n bwysig—. Sori i dorri ar draws.
And what's important—. Sorry to interrupt.
Mae gan Suzy Davies gwestiwn.
Suzy Davies has a question.
Jest ar y pwynt yna.
Just on that point.
On the basis of what you've just said, what would you be expecting the Welsh Government's response to the UK creative sectors deal to look like?
I think what I welcome in that deal is a recognition that more needs to be done to support creative activity and creative growth outside of London and the south-east. So, to take one example, the funding that is now being provided through the Arts and Humanities Research Council to support creative clusters right across the UK, and the recognition that clusters require support and underpinning and the scale of money that's being provided for that, I think, is a real opportunity, and I know Wales and Cardiff are putting a significant bid together to be one of those successful clusters. I really hope they're successful, because I think the amount of research funding that will bring into Wales, and the focus on skills, and the focus on innovation, I think, could all be very, very strong catalysts, in terms of driving this forward.
Would you have a similar response?
Yes. I think what's interesting about the idea of the creative cluster is that it recognises the need to create a legacy, a gwaddol, a sense of—
Mae ateb drwy'r Gymraeg yn fine.
You're welcome to say it in Welsh, of course.
Felly, beth sy'n bwysig o unrhyw fuddsoddiad, ac unrhyw ymgyrch i greu diwydiant creadigol sy'n ffynnu, yw bod yna waddol i ba bynnag fuddsoddiad sydd yn dod mewn i'r wlad, a bod hwnnw'n waddol sydd yn ymddangos o ran hyfforddiant a mentora, lle mae pobl yn dysgu ei gilydd sut i fod yn fwy creadigol, sut i weithio gyda'i gilydd a sut i wthio'r ffiniau. Felly, mae'r ffaith ein bod ni'n meddwl am glystyrau o'r pethau yma yn digwydd yn ddiddorol, oherwydd mae e'n cydnabod yr angen i greu'r gwaddol hwnnw, mewn ffordd. Byddwn i o blaid gwneud hynny ar draws y bwrdd, mewn gwirionedd.
What's important from any investment, and any campaign to create a prosperous creative industry, is that there is a legacy from whatever investment comes into the country, and that that legacy appears in terms of training and mentoring, where people can learn from each other how to be creative and how to collaborate and how to push the boundaries. So, the fact that we think of clusters of these things happening is interesting, because it's recognising that need to generate that legacy. I would be in favour of doing that across the board, if truth be told.
Ocê. Ac effaith hynny yn mynd ar draws Cymru, mewn rhyw ffordd.
Okay. And the impact of that would be felt across Wales.
Yn hollol, ie.
Rwy'n credu beth sy'n gryf amboutu beth mae'r Deyrnas Unedig yn ei wneud yw eu bod nhw'n plethu'r sector creadigol o fewn popeth arall, a dyna beth sy'n gryf yn dod mas o'r peth. Roedd yn fy nharo i, wrth edrych ar bethau fel Bang, wrth gwrs mae Tata yn bwysig iawn, iawn, iawn i'r wlad, ond mae'r ffaith ein bod ni'n gallu hybu diwydiant gwahanol, efallai mwy hirdymor, yn bwysig hefyd.
I think what's strong about what the UK is doing is that they weave the creative sector within everything else, and that's what comes out strongly. What struck me in looking at things like Bang was that, of course, Tata is very important for the country, but the fact that we can promote a different industry, perhaps more long term, is important as well.
Ocê. Mae'n ei wneud e'n weledig. Diolch yn fawr.
Okay. It makes it visible. Thank you very much.
Mae Tata, wrth gwrs, yn berchen ar gwmnïau teledu hefyd, felly efallai y gallen nhw ymwneud â hwn yng Nghymru hefyd. Rhianon Passmore.
And Tata own television companies too, so they might be able to become involved in this in Wales too. Rhianon Passmore.
Thank you. You've partially answered where I was going, but in regard to support from Welsh Government, time and time again we hear that we don't want Welsh Government to be telling the sector what to do—and that's absolutely right. What is it that you want Welsh Government to do, as a specific, to be able to support the sector? You mentioned possibly more support in terms of funding or advice around the creative cluster bits, but what is your vision of what you would like Welsh Government to be doing to enable this in the private sector?
A lot of the things I think have landed well. They've clearly focused on infrastructure development, and like for like with most of the regions or the nations of the UK, Wales is now ahead of the game. I think in terms of supporting the independent sector, in a sense you've heard from the producers and they're the experts, because, as Amanda was saying, we keep largely out of those commercial discussions, because they're driven by the independent sector, but having a very clear offer to the independent sector, a really transparent offer in terms of what is available, and being able to execute those schemes—
Can you articulate what you mean by 'a very clear offer'?
Well, I suppose one of the things that struck me, listening to the producers talking, was that there still seems to be an element of confusion about what actually the offer is. So, if there is a confusion, then I think clarity on that, for two reasons: one is (a) you want to know what level of support you can achieve and what the criteria are—
So, just to be clear on what you're talking about, and for others that may be watching, you're talking about clarity in terms of the funding pots that are available, the interface for advice, or is it something related to that?
So, if you are thinking of investing in a production in Wales—. Let's say you are not based in Wales, but you're thinking about—
Okay, so a simple one-stop shop.
So, you're looking at: 'Do I go to Northern Ireland? Do I go to Wales? Do I go to Yorkshire?' The support package that is potentially available, the clarity on what those criteria are and the speed with which those decisions are taken will be quite critical determinants in terms of whether you make the investment here or elsewhere. So, I don't know. I have no experience of bidding for money, so I don't know how effective or not that system is, but I know from speaking to commissioners in London how important that clarity and speed are. But I would say that the critical intervention, I would argue, that is needed is to work with the sector to address the skills squeeze, because we are—. It's a high-quality product we've got, we've got a tonne of demand, and we need to keep pace with that if we're going to maintain growth.
Diolch. Siân Gwenllian.
Jest cwestiynau ynglŷn â beth fedrwn ni ddysgu o wledydd eraill, mewn ffordd, wrth geisio gwreiddio'r diwydiant yma yng Nghymru a dod yn fwy hunangynhaliol a dweud mwy o'n stori ni, os leiciwch chi. A oes yna wersi y medrwn ni edrych arnyn nhw? A oes yna wledydd eraill y medrwn ni edrych arnyn nhw i ddysgu ohonyn nhw?
I just have questions on what we can learn from other countries, in a way, in trying to establish the industry here in Wales and to become more self-sufficient and to tell more of our story, if you like. Are there any lessons that we can look at? Are there any countries that we can look at and learn from?
Fel cynhyrchydd sydd wedi gweithio yn y maes rhyngwladol ers blynyddoedd, cyn i fi ddechrau yn S4C, mae yna nifer o lefydd a nifer o fodelau gwahanol, rhyngwladol, rwy'n credu y gallwn ni ddysgu ohonyn nhw. Maen nhw'n amrywio'n fawr o wlad i wlad, ac rwy'n credu beth mae'n rhaid i ni benderfynu ydy—. I ddod yn ôl at y pwynt o fel y gallwn ni gydweithio, rwy'n credu y dylem gynghori'r Llywodraeth gan ddefnyddio ein sgiliau a'n gwybodaeth ni fel darlledwyr a sector i ddweud wrthych chi lle rŷm ni'n gweld yr anghenion penodol; edrych ar fodelau o dramor fel yr un yn Iwerddon lle mae yna sawl pot o arian ar gyfer TG4, er enghraifft, ac maen nhw'n yn gallu mynd ar eu hôl er mwyn cael hybu eu cynnyrch ac er mwyn cael ariannu'u cynnyrch; ac edrych ar y modelau hynny a chymryd y gorau ohonyn nhw. Mae yna sawl, sawl model. Nid oes un yn benodol, rwy'n credu, sy'n gweithio yn arbennig o dda o'i gymharu â'r lleill, ond mae yna damaid bach o bopeth y gallem ni ei fenthyg, a gweithio ar y cyd gyda chi i ddweud wrthych chi beth yr ŷm ni'n gweld yw'r anghenion.
Fel mae Rhodri yn ei ddweud, hyfforddiant ydy un o'r pethau mawr, mawr rŷm ni'n teimlo y mae angen cymorth arnom ni i helpu i strategaethu yng Nghymru. Defnyddiwch ni, a'n harbenigedd ni a'n dealltwriaeth ni o'r sector ac o'r diwydiant, yn ogystal â hefyd gweithio gyda'r cwmniau cynhyrchu, i adnabod beth yw'r amcanion, really, y dylem ni fod yn anelu atyn nhw o fewn y tair, pedair blynedd nesaf.
As a producer who worked internationally for many years before starting at S4C, there are a number of different international models that we can learn from. They vary a great deal from one nation to another and I think what we have to decide is—. To return to the point of how we can collaborate, I think we should advise the Government using our skills as a sector and as broadcasters to tell you where we see the particular needs lie; we should look at models abroad such as the one in Ireland where there are a number of pots of funding for TG4, for example, that they can pursue in order to promote production and to fund production; and we could look at those models and take the best of what's available. There are numerous models. I don't think there is one specific model that works particularly well compared to the others, but there's a smorgasbord that we could look at and we could work with you in order to tell you what we see as the requirements.
As Rhodri said, training is one of the major things that we feel that we need assistance with so that we can strategise for that in Wales. Use us and our expertise and our understanding of the sector and the industry, as well as working with the production companies, in order to identify what the objectives really are that we should be aiming for over the next three or four years.
Roeddech chi'n sôn am Iwerddon yn y fanna, er enghraifft. Felly, sut mae Iwerddon yn cymharu efo ni? Sut mae'r darlun yn edrych yn y fanna, o ran cwmniau cynhenid wedi esblygu erbyn hyn i fod yn cynnal y diwydiant?
You mentioned Ireland there, for example. So, how does Ireland compare with us? How does the picture look there in terms of the indigenous companies and how they've evolved now to sustain the industry?
O siarad ag Alan Esslemont yn TG4, rwy'n deall bod ganddyn nhw efallai ychydig yn llai o arian nag, er enghraifft, S4C, i wario ar raglenni. Mae'r ffordd maen nhw'n ariannu pethau ychydig yn wahanol. Rwy'n credu bod yna dri neu bedwar pot o arian y maen nhw'n gallu mynd atyn nhw, gan gynnwys contestable fund, gan gynnwys tax breaks, gan gynnwys arian gan yr Irish Film Board, ac maen nhw'n gallu mynd atyn nhw i ddodi'r potiau hynny at ei gilydd. Felly, mae hynny'n enghraifft o sut gallem ni fod yn gweithio.
Having spoken to Alan Esslemont in TG4, I understand that they perhaps have a little less money than S4C to spend on programming. The way they fund things is slightly diffferent. I think there are three or four pots of funding they can bid for, including the contestable fund, including tax breaks, including funding from the Irish Film Board, and they can approach them and bring all those pots together. So, that's an example of one approach that we could take.
Rwy'n credu, efallai, o edrych ar beth sy'n digwydd yn Iwerddon, a dyna ran o beth yr oeddwn i'n siarad amdano gynnau fach, mae'r agwedd yng Nghymru yn weddol pasif—'Dyma'r arian—dyma beth rŷm ni'n gefnogi'. Yn Iwerddon mae'n weddol amlwg. Maen nhw'n gweithio ochr yn ochr efo'r darlledwr i weld yn economaidd lle mae eisiau buddsoddi. Rwy'n credu efallai dyna un o'r pethau liciwn i weld yn y dyfodol.
I think, perhaps, looking at what's happening in Ireland, and that is part of what I was talking about earlier, the attitude in Wales is relatively passive—'This is the money—this is what we support'. In Ireland it's quite clear. They work alongside the broadcaster to see at an economic level where there is a need to invest. Perhaps that's one of the things I'd like to see in the future.
A oes gennych chi farn?
Do you have a view?
Nac oes—efallai 'rhy amddiffynol'. Rwy'n meddwl bod stori dda gan Gymru. Hynny yw, mae'n sicr bod yna wersi o wledydd eraill, ond os rydw i'n edrych ar y llwyddiant mae S4C a BBC Cymru yn ei gael yn y maes drama ar hyn o bryd, os rydw i'n edrych ar y datblygiadau o ran y sector rhyngwladol, ar y gwaith mae Bad Wolf ac eraill yn ei wneud yn y maes yna—. Rydw i'n meddwl weithiau mae yna dueddiad i feddwl bod pawb arall yn gwneud yn well na ni. Yn sicr, o drafod gyda lot o'm cydweithwyr yn y BBC ar draws Prydain, mae lot o bobl yn edrych ar Gymru fel enghraifft o lle mae'r uchelgais, yr egni a'r parodrwydd i gydweithio. Mae yna lot o elfennau yng Nghymru yn gweithio'n dda. Yn sicr, mae yna le i wella, ond fe fuaswn i'n dweud 'bach yn amddiffynnol'. Mae eisiau i ni ddeall bod gennym ni rywbeth arbennig ar hyn o bryd, ac mae hwn yn gyfle i ni dyfu ac i fynd tu hwnt. Mae'r ffaith bod Craith bellach neu Byw Celwydd neu Keeping Faith—mae'r ffaith bod y rhaglenni yma nawr yn gwerthu yn rhyngwladol, mae'r ffaith eu bod nhw'n gallu rhoi llwyfan rhyngwladol i'r Gymraeg o ran iaith—. Rydw i'n meddwl bod hwn yn gyfnod arbennig. Rydw i'n meddwl ei fod o'n gyfnod euraidd o ran cynhyrchu yng Nghymru, ac mae eisiau i ni fanteisio ar hynny.
No—perhaps 'too defensive'. I think Wales has a very good story. Certainly, there are lessons to be learned from elsewhere, but if I look at the success that S4C and BBC Cymru/Wales has in drama at the moment, if I look at the developments in terms of the international sector and the work that Bad Wolf and others are doing in that area—. I think there is a tendency to think that everyone else is performing better than we are. Certainly, from having discussed this with many colleagues in the BBC across the UK, many people are looking to Wales as an exemplar of where the ambition, the energy and the willingness to collaborate is. There are many elements in Wales working well. Certainly, there's room for improvement, but I would say that we are slightly defensive on occasion. We need to understand that we have something special at the moment, and that this is an opportunity for us to grow. The fact that Craith and Byw Celwydd or Keeping Faith—the fact that all of these programmes are now selling internationally, the fact that they are providing an international platform for the Welsh language—. I think this is a very special time. I think it is a golden age in terms of production in Wales, and we need to take full advantage of that.
Ac a fyddwch chi wedyn yn rhoi'r pwyslais ar ddatblygu hynny ymhellach? Achos, ie, mae eisiau clodfori beth sy'n digwydd rŵan ac mae eisiau parhau i fod yn uchelgeisiol a gwthio pethau ymlaen a gwreiddio'r diwydiant hyd yn fwy, onid oes? Rydych chi wedi sôn am yr her sgiliau. A ydych yn gweld mai hynny ydy'r allwedd, mewn ffordd, i wreiddio'r diwydiant yn iawn fel ein bod ni wedyn yn gallu dechrau dweud ein stori, ac o hynny felly—? Rwy'n gwybod bod gan Rhianon gwestiynau ar sgiliau, ond lle fyddai'r bylchau a lle rydym ni angen canolbwyntio yn strategol ar ddatblygu'r sgiliau yna?
Will you then be emphasising the need to develop that further? Because, yes, we need to praise what's happening now and we need to continue to be ambitious, push things forward and root the industry even more, don't we? You've mentioned the challenge regarding skills. Do you see that as the key, in a way, to rooting the industry in a proper way so that we can start telling our story, and from that, therefore—? I know Rhianon has questions on skills, but where would the gaps be and where we do need to concentrate our strategy on in developing those skills?
I might ask Simon to come in, because certainly in terms of—
Sorry, Rhianon, but you can carry on afterwards.
In terms of high-end—[Interruption.] In terms of high-end drama production, I think there are some very particular skills challenges.
In many ways, it's quite a general skills challenge. Across the board in Roath Lock, we train across the board but we have shortages across every single department. We are training people and, obviously, there's an enormous amount of new dramas coming to Wales, which is great and they are high end, but we are struggling to service the ones that we have already. We need to be better at training. We need to have more support in many ways for training. Certainly, there's a huge commitment within BBC Studios to be training as many people as possible, but I think you have to say across the sector—. And it's not just about the people making shows and creatives—roles like script editing are incredibly hard to train people for, and we are finding that they're very hard to source. We need to be, right across the board, finding both the creatives to lead things and, obviously, the people to make these shows, and it's an enormous challenge ahead for us, I think, but it's one that we're embracing.
In many ways, it's a challenge—.
Mae'n sialens sydd—. Mae'n wir yng Nghymru, mae'n wir yn bob man. Mae yna rai pethau sydd gennym ni. Mae yna asedau gennym ni sy'n bwysig. Mae'r ffaith bod Pobol y Cwm a Casualty yma yng Nghymru o ran yr angen am sgriptio, ac mae'n anferthol—mae'r peiriannau yma o ran y cynyrchiadau yna; mae yna gyfleoedd i ddatblygu a meithrin ysgrifenwyr newydd nad oes ar gael mewn rhai lleoedd eraill ym Mhrydain. Ond mae cyflymder y twf dros y degawd diwethaf wedi bod gymaint fel nad oes yna ddim dwywaith bod yna anghenion mae'n rhaid i ni fynd i'r afael â nhw os ydym ni yn mynd i barhau gyda'r twf.
It's a challenge that's—. It's true in Wales and it's true elsewhere. There are certain things that we have. There are certain assets that we have. The fact that Pobol y Cwm and Casualty are based here in Wales in terms of the need for scriptwriting, and it's huge—these machines in terms of those productions are there, and there are opportunities to nurture new writing talent that aren't available in certain other areas of the UK. But the pace of growth over the past decade has been such that there's no doubt that there are needs that we need to address if we are going to continue with that growth.
A ydych chi'n gweld hynny drwy'r system addysg—bod efallai y prifysgolion a'r cyrsiau cyfryngau, ac yn y blaen, ddim yn dal i fyny efo'r anghenion hyfforddi, mewn ffordd? A ydy'r pwyslais ar ysgrifennu sgriptiau, ac yn y blaen? A ydy'r pwyslais yn ddigonol yn y llefydd iawn, neu a ydym ni angen rhyw fath o awdit llawn o'r hyn sydd yn digwydd a dechrau cyfarch y bylchau penodol?
Do you see that through the education system—that perhaps the universities and the media courses aren't keeping up with the training needs, in a way? Is the emphasis on writing scripts and so on? Is there sufficient emphasis on the right places, or do we need some sort of full audit of what's happening and to start addressing those specific gaps?
Ni fuaswn i'n ffocysu'n ormodol ar y prifysgolion, oherwydd un tamaid bach yn y gadwyn ydy'r prifysgolion. Wrth gwrs, fe fyddwn i'n edrych ar hynny, ond fe fyddwn i'n ffocysu yn llawer mwy holistig ar sut y mae hyfforddiant a datblygu sgiliau a mentora unigolion o fewn y diwydiant yn gyffredinol yn gweithio. O fewn drama—
I wouldn't focus too much on the universities, because that's one small link in the chain. Of course, we need to look at that, but I would focus in a far more holistic way on how training and skills development and the mentoring of individuals within the industry more broadly works. Within drama—
You've recognised that there's a particular need for script editors. Within high-end factuals, there's a particular need for executive producers. I think there's a real dearth of those skills—those freelance skills—in Wales. The truth is that an idea commissioned is only as good as the talent that works on it. If we get that right, then we have a real chance to be able to compete on a world stage with world-class content. If we get it wrong, then we can have the best ideas in the world and the best funding in the world, but we're not going to be able to compete. So, I think that a holistic look at how we can work together to recognise where the skills shortages are, where they're likely to be in the future, where that need is most likely to be met, and how that need is most likely to be met, is really the way forward.
If you take factual as an example, Amanda and I are talking with another broadcaster about potentially collaborating, because this is the point about the sector stepping in. As individual broadcasters, there's only so much you can do, but, where you have a shared challenge in terms of skills, I think one of the things we're exploring at the moment is to what extent can broadcasters come together and, in a joined-up way—. Again, Welsh Government may be able to step in and assist with that in terms of some of the funding, but, clearly, we're going to have to drive it as well. But I think there are opportunities for greater joint collective effort on skills development that—. There is a lot of great stuff happening—we're all doing stuff individually—but I suspect there are opportunities to come together.
Thank you for that, and in regard—. You mentioned the Celtic brand earlier. I'm very interested in terms of what you said about collaboration and competition. It is the very nature of that beast. In terms of getting it right, a huge theme has been this skills shortage. Whose job is it to fill that skills shortage? I think it seems important that there is a coming together of minds, from what you've just said, in terms of that skills audit that has just been mentioned and discussed. So, how to be strategic about that—? When I asked you earlier about what Welsh Government can do, would you therefore then state that Welsh Government could support the sector in terms of bringing together a skills audit? Is that Welsh Government's job, or is that the sector's job?
I think this is a partnership. It's in the interests of broadcasters to address the skills gap, because, as to Amanda's point, we want to commission the best people and the best-equipped people. It's in the interests of the production sector to get the skills gap sorted because they want to win commissions, and it's in the interests of Welsh Government to support it because they want economic growth and greater employment.
Okay. So, a co-constructed/conducted audit.
It has to be a holistic approach. Data, I think, is a fair challenge. I think actually there is a deficit in terms of our detailed understanding of the sector in Wales. I think there have been a number of attempts or calls to address it. It hasn't really happened. I'm not pointing fingers there. I think, again, this issue of what can Welsh Government do, what can the sector do—we have to do this in a joined-up way. The opportunity is too big not to have everybody pulling together—
So, in terms of strategic leadership, there is a definitive role there for Welsh Government in the bringing together and the facilitation of the sector around this issue.
Well, I think the sector can do its part. To pick up on Rhodri's point, we had a roundtable recently with Teledwyr Annibynnol Cymru—I know you're seeing TAC afterwards—to go through, really, where they're struggling for skills. What we're looking at now is—we can't address all of the issues. So, the skills we can work on, the budgets we have—we have to address the two or three pressing areas, and that's what we'll do over the coming year. I think the role for Government then is to come in and say, 'Look, this is an important sector. This is what we will try and fund and support developing'.
So, in regard to how urgent this is, I've heard in a number of visits—and I believe this committee has also heard—that often we're a victim of our own success, and I've heard previously from different studios, who I won't name, that they really can't cope with any more work because of that skills issue. So, how urgent and pressing is it, bearing in mind that we are in this golden age? We have massive potential, in my view, huge capacity, but then there is that real problem that is almost going to block that exponential growth. How urgent is this skills deficit?
I think it is, and it comes back to a point I mentioned earlier on. We spend roughly £80 million or £90 million a year, between us, just on S4C spend. The BBC spend is on top of that again. What we've seen over the past five years is we've seen a consolidation of the industry. The cuts in budgets we've had have meant that we have had to consolidate. It's something, to a degree, we're trying to reverse at the moment. What that's meant is that, effectively, the freelance sector, which is the corpus of people that you really need to come in when these large productions come in—and you need people of quality there—hasn't disappeared, but it's a lot smaller than it used to be.
The challenge is that we can upskill these people—we can provide training, we can provide education, we provide experience—but we need to provide something that's going to give them work all year round. So, I think it's a two-headed beast. Yes, we need to train the people, we need to understand what skills deficits we have, but we also need to work out how we're going to create and sustain that sector to provide a living for these people all the year round.
So, in regard to the importance of a sectoral strategy around this at a high level—obviously co-construction of that is absolutely imperative—that may be of use.
Can I just—
Just one example: so, in the last couple of months, Channel 4 has announced it is volunteering that 50 per cent of its production will be out of London, and 17 per cent or 20 per cent—or is it 17 per cent, I can't remember—of its production will be from the three nations. That is a significant shift by Channel 4 from where it was. And, guess what? There's now more demand by Channel 4 for skills and economic activity, creative activity, on the ground in Wales, because those are challenging targets for it. That is a huge opportunity, but, unless you've got the skills story sorted, what you're doing is you're pulling more and more—you're thinning out. In the end, that catches up with you in terms of quality. So, you have to address the supply issue in training if we're going to grab all of these opportunities—the global opportunity, the BBC opportunity, the S4C opportunity and now a very significant Channel 4 opportunity.
So, in regard to, finally, the loss of Creative Skillset Cymru, is there room for a similar type of organisation?
I declare an interest: I was the last chair of Creative Skillset, the advisory group in Wales.
Or is it an old-fashioned notion?
Well, I think it disappeared because the funding dried up. There is now the new deal we've been talking about that's been announced by the UK Government. There's significant funding being overseen by the BFI. So, there is no doubt that there is an opportunity right now to make sure that Wales secures a significant share of that money to drive the skills agenda. Whether you need to recreate the old institution or whether there is a more streamlined convening that we can do within the sector to make sure we press all of the right buttons in the right order—
But, regardless of the animal, the actual notion of its fundamental constitution, in a sense—
I think, without a doubt, with this new BFI money on the table, and given the skills shortage we're talking about, in my view—and I think Pauline talked about this from Ffilm Cymru as well, and Phil as well from the Arts Council of Wales—there is a need to get a co-ordinated story together and make sure that the sector as a whole is speaking with one voice into the BFI.
Okay, thank you.
Just very quickly, just on that skills issue, we've got the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, we've got the ATRiuM, we've got other bits of work that are going on around here. Is it the model of skills development within Wales, or is it just that there isn't sufficient capacity, or is it just, really, the structure of the process that's not delivering what you need?
That's a good question.
I think part of it is that university education will get you so far, but it's about other skills that Simon will want, that we will want, in particular. These are skills that are heavily based on experience, they're heavily based on working at a competitive level. So, I think there is something that the sector has to provide as well as the education sector, because the type of skills, actually, we're very short of are of the higher-end level, and that is more difficult, I think, for the universities to actually step in on.
Sorry, but just on the point that Rhodri mentioned earlier on, the AHRC bid around the creative clusters, for example—some of that activity is what we're seeking to address through that. This is where—back to partnership—the sector, the universities and the production companies themselves can have a big role in trying to fix that.
And I think we need to recognise, in whatever model we create, the industry moves very quickly—its needs change from day to day. So, what is needed now is—. There's a new need next year that we not only need to meet but we need to prepare for. So, as we move into a new sphere of broadcasting where digital broadcasting is going to become ever more prevalent, and short-form content, and new ways of communicating with the audience are needed, then we need to be ahead, not behind the game in terms of planning those skills. We just, as I say, need to be leaders, not followers.
Simon. Did you want to say—?
I would generally agree with most of that. Obviously, it's also in schools, it's making people aware of what they can do, planning ahead a really long time, making sure that people across society are seeing the opportunities ahead. But, yes, it is very much the immediate issues we've got at the moment and planning for as far ahead as possible.
I suppose I wouldn't want the committee to come away from this session thinking there's not a lot happening. There is a huge amount of development and training activity on the ground, and I could list—and I'm sure S4C could—the sheer number of schemes and initiatives we're supporting, with enormous throughput of people each year. It's just that the opportunity and the demand is also astonishing. But I'd hate for you to think we're sitting here passively thinking we've got a skills shortage and wondering what Government can do about it.
We'll say that in the report now, just to annoy you. [Laughter.] Siân Gwenllian.
Roeddwn i jest eisiau pigo i fyny ar y busnes Channel 4 yma, a’r cyfleoedd mae hynny'n eu codi. Pa mor bwysig ydy hyn, a sut ydych chi’n mynd ati rŵan i afael yn y cyfle yna?
I just wanted to pick up on the business of Channel 4 and the opportunities that that brings. How important is that, and how do you go about this now to grasp that opportunity?
Wel, mae’n gyfle difyr, rydw i’n meddwl, oherwydd mae o'n swm sylweddol o arian. Mae o eto yn un o'r camau pwysig o ran ceisio cael balans yn y sector creadigol ym Mhrydain lle mae yna gymaint o bwyslais ar Lundain. Rydw i hefyd yn meddwl ei fod o’n gyfle, achos rydw i’n meddwl bod lot o’r stori yn y ddegawd ddiwethaf wedi bod ynglŷn â drama, ac rydw i’n meddwl bod yna gyfle i Gymru ddatblygu enw da Prydeinig a rhyngwladol o ran y ffeithiol. Yn sicr, bydd Channel 4 yn edrych ar y maes ffeithiol. Mae’n bwysig i ni yn BBC Cymru, ac rydw i’n siŵr ei fod o'n bwysig i Amanda ac Owen yn S4C. Ac mi fuasai fo'n sicrhau bod gan Gymru fwy i'w ddweud am ein henw da creadigol na'r stori ddrama. Ac felly, dyna, rydw i’n meddwl, yw’r un o’r cyfleoedd, i weld, o ran y ffeithiol, a formats ac ati a docs, sut mae datblygu sgiliau yn y maes yna, ochr yn ochr â’r gwaith rhagorol sy’n digwydd yn y maes drama.
Well, it's an interesting opportunity, I think, because it's a large amount of money. Again, it is an important step in terms of getting balance in the creative sector in Britain where there is so much emphasis on London. I also think it's an opportunity, because I think a lot of the story over the past decade has been about drama, and I think there is an opportunity for Wales to develop a reputation on a UK level and internationally in terms of factual output. Certainly, Channel 4 will look at factual. It's important for us in BBC Wales, and I'm sure it's important for Amanda and Owen in S4C, and it would ensure that Wales has more to say in terms of our creative reputation rather than simply being about drama. So, I think that's one of the opportunities to see, in terms of factual output and formats and docs, how we can develop skills in that area, along with the excellent work that's happening in drama.
Byddwn i’n cytuno â hynny. Os edrychwch chi ar rai o'r cyfresi sydd wedi dychwelyd dro ar ôl tro i Channel 4, pethau fel 24 Hours in A&E, Gogglebox, First Dates, maen nhw’n gyfresi ffeithiol sydd wedi gallu cael eu gwerthu’n rhyngwladol. Ac mae’r cyfresi hynny yn creu conglfeini yn amserlen unrhyw ddarlledwr, a hefyd yn creu gwaith cyson sydd yn dychwelyd i gwmnïau cynhyrchu. Felly, maen nhw’n gonglfeini economaidd hefyd yn ogystal â chonglfeini creadigol.
Weithiau, mae’n ffocws ni ar ddrama yn benodol. Weithiau, rydych chi’n teimlo nad ydym ni'n cydnabod beth yw gwerth yr ochr ffeithiol, ac mae Channel 4 yn enghraifft o sut mae’r gwerthoedd hynny’n gallu bod yn amlwg.
I would agree with that. If you look at some of the series that have returned time and time again to Channel 4, such as 24 Hours in A&E, Gogglebox, First Dates, they're factual series that have been able to have been sold on an international level. And those series create cornerstones in the schedule of any broadcaster, and also create regular work that returns to productions companies. So, they are economic cornerstones as well as being creative cornerstones.
Sometimes, our focus is on drama, specifically. Sometimes, you feel that we don't acknowledge the value of the factual content, and Channel 4 is an example of how those values can be clear.
Ac i gloi yn glou, Suzy.
And to conclude very briefly, Suzy.
Oh, I've got to do this quickly. [Laughter.] I just want to go back to the question of portrayal and production activity in Wales with the BBC. I'm trying to work out the Venn diagram bit in the in the middle here. When a BBC network is commissioning work, how do they ensure that that production within Wales element is covered off? Do they tend to come to BBC Wales or even BBC Studios to say, 'What's on your slate? Will that cover us off on our spend in Wales and our production element in Wales target?'
It's not probably the answer you're looking for: it is a mix of all those things.
Oh, no, that's fine. I'm trying to work out the process here.
Requiem, for example, was very much a network—. Commissioners commissioned it, we had no involvement in it, it was purely done through them. Valley Cops, the documentary series, was developed by BBC Three, and they brought it to us and said did we want to co-release it. The Family Farm—we did the development, we went to network and they put some money in. Keeping Faith, if it goes to network, that will have been an S4C origination, with BBC Wales coming in off the back of S4C's support, and hopefully a transfer onto network. So, the models of co-production and co-financing, and how we get portrayal on screen, are many and varied. I suppose the key thing is: are there more Welsh stories on the UK's screens? But there isn't one model that delivers that.
Okay. Because I was asking about the activity in Wales bit at that stage on portrayal. You've said that you have a slate of greenlit productions. Obviously, you can't tell us about those, and that's fine. But when you say 'you', do you mean BBC network or do you mean BBC Wales?
There's a nations and regions division at the BBC, and, obviously, the BBC content division are in charge of all the network television. So, we get together with BBC content, and we get together with the director general, and we go through, quarter by quarter, the projects that we are developing between us that we think will deliver portrayal onto network screens in terms of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. So, it's quite a systematic process: what's in development against each of the genre, what is actually commissioned and greenlit and in production, and also, obviously, what has aired and how it performed.
Okay. So, if an independent company in Wales wanted to go straight to network with a portrayal offer of some description, it would end up in this nations and regions board or forum, anyway, would it, at some point?
It would. So, anything that we develop that the network wants to buy into is on that list. Anything that networks are developing and not talking to us about, maybe, is on that list as well.
That's great. That's what I wanted—
The only thing that's not there is programmes that we're making just for Wales. There are fewer and fewer of those because we're trying to move onto network anyway.
I'm happy to hear that as well. Thank you. I just couldn't get my head around that. Thanks.
Ocê. Rydym ni wedi gorffen o ran amser, ac felly, diolch yn fawr iawn ichi am ddod i mewn atom heddiw. Rwy'n siŵr y byddwn ni'n cysylltu os bydd mwy o gwestiynau ynglŷn â'r ymchwiliad a sut y mae e'n parhau dros yr wythnosau nesaf. Felly, diolch yn fawr iawn.
Seibiant o ddwy funud.
Okay. We have finished in terms of time, and so, thank you very much for attending today. I'm sure we'll be in touch if there are any more questions regarding the inquiry and how it continues over the next few weeks. So, thank you very much.
There will now be a break of two minutes.
Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:21 a 10:30.
The meeting adjourned between 10:21 and 10:30.
Ocê, rydym ni'n gyhoeddus. Eitem 3—cynyrchiadau ffilm a theledu mawr yng Nghymru: sesiwn dystiolaeth 9. A chroeso i'r tystion: Gareth Williams, cadeirydd Teledwyr Annibynnol Cymru a phrif swyddog gweithredol Rondo Media; Luned Whelan, rheolydd gweithredol TAC; Rosina Robson, pennaeth cenhedloedd a phlant Pact; ac nid wyf yn gwybod sut i ddweud yr enw—
Okay, we are in public. Item 3—film and major television production in Wales: evidence session 9. And welcome to the witnesses: Gareth Williams, chair of TAC and chief executive officer of Rondo Media; Luned Whelan, executive manager, TAC; Rosina Robson, Pact’s head of nations and children; and I don't know how to pronounce—
Gillane. Gillane Seaborne: cynrychiolydd etholedig Pact yng Nghymru, prif swyddog gweithredol a chynhyrchydd gweithredol yng nghwmni Midnight Oil. Diolch i chi gyd am ddod mewn gerbron. Beth sydd yn digwydd fel arfer yw ein bod ni'n cael cwestiynau ar themâu gwahanol, a bydd Aelodau Cynulliad yn gofyn cwestiynau i chi ar sail hynny. Felly, os mae'n iawn, awn ni'n syth mewn i gwestiynau.
Y cwestiwn cyntaf gennyf fi, felly, yw: sut ydych chi'n credu bod Cymru yn gweithredu ar hyn o bryd, o ran y byd ffilm a chynyrchiadau mawr teledu, o gymharu â Phrydain, efallai? A ydych chi'n credu ein bod ni'n llwyddiannus ac yn ffynnu? Neu os oes pryderon gyda chi ynghylch y system sydd ohoni, byddai hynny'n grêt, er mwyn i ni gael rhyw fath o syniad gennych chi o'r hyn sydd yn digwydd ar hyn o bryd.
Gillane. Gillane Seaborne: Pact's elected representative in Wales, CEO and executive producer at Midnight Oil. Thank you to you all for attending today. What happens usually is that we have questions on different themes, and Assembly Members will ask you questions on the basis of that. So, if it's okay with you, we'll go straight into questions.
The first question from me is: how do you believe that Wales is operating at the moment, in terms of the film and major television production sector, compared with the UK, perhaps? Do you think that we're successful and prosperous? Or if you have concerns regarding the system that exists at the moment, that would be great, in order for us to have an idea of what's happening at the moment.
O ran y Deyrnas Unedig yn gyffredinol, mae'r ddau sector mewn cyflwr cymharol iach ar hyn o bryd. Mae yna deitlau ffilm dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf, fel I Am Not a Witch, a Beast, ac, wrth gwrs, Paddington 2, wedi gwneud yn dda iawn. Ac o ran cynyrchiadau teledu mawr, mae Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, a The Night Manager, er enghraifft, wedi bod yn rhai amlwg iawn. Mae yna bryderon ynglŷn â phan fydd y Deyrnas Unedig yn gadael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd o ran ffynonellau ariannu, o ran marchnadoedd, a hefyd o ran talent. Mae yna bryder hefyd fod rhai darlledwyr, er enghraifft, Discovery, yn mynd i symud eu pencadlys i’r tir mawr yn Ewrop o'r Deyrnas Unedig, ac y bydd eraill yn eu dilyn nhw.
Yn y Deyrnas Unedig, mae TAC yn gweithio'n galed iawn i sefydlu perthynas gyda'r darlledwyr, sydd, wrth gwrs, yn gwneud deunydd rhyngwladol, yn enwedig ar lefel gomisiynu, ac yn ddiweddar rydym ni wedi cefnogi cais Caerdydd i gael canolfan Channel 4. Byddwn ni'n chwilio hefyd i gyfrannu at gynhadledd y dinasoedd creadigol sy'n cael ei chynnal yng Nghaerdydd y flwyddyn nesaf.
O ran Cymru, mae'n bwysig i ni wahaniaethu rhwng ffilm a'r cynyrchiadau teledu mawr a'r sector cynhyrchu sy'n creu cynnwys flwyddyn ar ôl blwyddyn i'r darlledwyr yng Nghymru, yn y Deyrnas Unedig, ac mewn cyd-gynyrchiadau rhyngwladol. Mae'r gwahaniaeth rhwng lefel y raddfa a'r cyllidebau rhwng y cynyrchiadau mwy â'r cynyrchiadau sy'n cael eu creu gan y sector yn nodedig. Ond er gwaethaf hynny, mae, er enghraifft, y sector annibynnol yng Nghymru yn dychwelyd £2.09 am bob £1 mae S4C yn ei gwario ar raglenni, felly mae'n gwneud cyfraniad economaidd yn ogystal â diwylliannol. Ac, wrth gwrs, mae hyn yng nghyd-destun gostyngiad yng nghyllidebau S4C o ryw 36 y cant dros yr wyth mlynedd ddiwethaf. Felly, mae'r sector yn parhau i gyfrannu o dan yr amgylchiadau hynny.
In terms of the UK more generally, both sectors are relatively healthy at the moment. There are film titles over the past year, such as I Am Not a Witch, Beast and Paddington 2, which have done very well. And in terms of major television productions, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and The Night Manager, for example, have been very prominent indeed. There are concerns about Brexit in terms of funding sources, markets and also in terms of talent. There is also concern that some broadcasters, such as Discovery, are going to move their headquarters to the European mainland from the UK, and that others will follow.
In the UK, TAC works very hard to establish relationships with broadcasters, who, of course, use material on an international level, particularly in commissioning, and recently we've supported Cardiff's bid to attract Channel 4 to the city. We will also be looking to contribute to the Creative Cities Convention held in Cardiff next year.
In terms of Wales, it's important that we differentiate between film and major television production and the production sector that creates year-on-year content for broadcasters in Wales, in the UK, and in international co-productions. The difference between the scale and the budgets between the larger productions and the productions created by the sector is marked. But despite that, the independent sector, for example, in Wales returns £2.09 for every £1 spent by S4C on programming, so it does make an economic contribution as well as a cultural contribution. And, of course, this is in the context of a reduction in the budgets of S4C of some some 36 per cent over the past eight years. So, the sector continues to make a contribution under those circumstances.
Unrhyw sylwadau cychwynnol eraill?
Any other comments?
Beth hoffwn i ei ychwanegu at hynny, mewn ffordd, yw'r ystod o gynyrchiadau drama sy'n cael eu cynhyrchu ar hyn o bryd. Mae gyda ni yr addasiadau o weithiau Philip Pullman yn cael eu cynhyrchu ar hyn o bryd—o bosib yr oriau drytaf o ddrama erioed i gael eu cynhyrchu o Gymru. Ac wedyn mae gennych chi ddramâu llai yn cael eu cynhyrchu, a beth sydd yn codi calon rhywun yw gweld cynifer o ddramâu sydd wedi'u gwreiddio yma yng Nghymru, sydd wedi'u ffilmio yma yng Nghymru, ac wedi ymddangos am y tro cyntaf ar S4C—cyfresi fel Bang—yn cael eu dosbarthu, yn dod ag arian ychwanegol mewn i Gymru, ac yn rhoi darlledwyr cyhoeddus yng Nghymru mewn sefyllfa lle maen nhw yn ariannu cyfran o'r gyllideb ond nid y gyllideb gyfan. Mae hynny, rydw i'n credu, i gynhyrchwyr y dyfodol, yn mynd i ddod yn fwy a mwy pwysig. Bydd gallu'r cynhyrchydd i frocera'r deals yma, i ffeindio darlledwyr eraill sydd eisiau prynu mewn i gynnyrch, ac i ffeindio dosbarthwyr yn gwbl, gwbl allweddol. Ni wn i am unrhyw gynhyrchydd fyddai ddim wrth ei fodd, neu wrth ei bodd, i gael dangos eu cynnyrch nhw i gynulleidfa o gwmpas y byd. Felly, mae'n dda iawn, iawn fod ein cyfresi ni—Craith, Bang, cyfresi eraill—
What I would like to add to that is the range of drama productions that are being produced at the moment. We have the adaptations of Philip Pullman that are being produced at the moment—possibly the most expensive hours of drama to be produced in Wales. And then you have smaller dramas being produced, and what is heartening is to see so many dramas that are rooted here in Wales, that have been filmed here in Wales, and have appeared first on S4C—series such as Bang—being distributed, bringing additional money into Wales, and placing Welsh public broadcasters in a position where they fund a proportion rather than the whole of the production. I think that is going to become more important—the ability of the producer to broker these deals, to find other broadcasters who want to buy in, and to find distributors, is going to be absolutely key. I don't know about any producer who wouldn't be pleased to see their production being shown to a wider audience around the world. So, it's very, very good that our series—Craith/Hidden, Bang, other series—
Un Bore Mercher.
Un Bore Mercher.
—Un Bore Mercher, ac, yn, wir Byw Celwydd. Mae Byw Celwydd nawr yn mynd i fod yn cael ei ddangos yng Ngogledd America ac yng Nghanada, i gael gweld sut ddiddordeb fydd mewn straeon am y byd gwleidyddol yma yng Nghymru. Mae hynny’n wych o beth. Mae’r rheini’n gyfuniad hefyd o gyfresi Cymraeg, cyfresi hefyd sydd yn bodoli mewn mwy nag un fersiwn sydd yn cael eu gwerthu’n rhyngwladol hefyd. Felly, mae yna ecoleg eithaf amrywiol fanna o ran y math o gynnyrch sydd ar gael.
Rydw i’n meddwl bod yna fwy o le i ddosbarthu ac i feddwl yn nhermau rhyngwladol o ran ein cynnyrch ffeithiol ni. Fe glywom ni rhai o’r dystiolaeth yn gynharach gyda chi yn gwneud yr un pwynt. Mae hynny’n dechrau magu ychydig o stêm nawr, rydw i’n meddwl. Mae yna gyfres mae Cwmni Da’n ei wneud ar hyn o bryd, Llanw, yntefe, sydd yn gysylltiedig gyda darlledwr yn Tsieina, er enghraifft. Mae yna gyfres rŷm ni’n ei wneud yn Rondo, Y Wal, sydd yn cyd-gynhyrchiad gyda darlledwr yn Ne Corea ac yn Iwerddon, ac mae honno’n cael ei dosbarthu gan Cineflix. Felly, yn sydyn iawn, mae cynnyrch o Gymru’n cael ei ddosbarthu, yn cael ei weld, ledled y byd, ac rydw i’n credu bod hynny i’w groesawu, yn sicr.
—Keeping Faith/Un Bore Mercher, and Byw Celwydd. Byw Celwydd is now going to be shown in North America and in Canada, to see how much interest there will be in the political world and stories about the political world here in Wales. That is excellent. These are combinations of Welsh language series, series that also exist in more than one version that are being sold on an international level. So, there is quite a diverse ecology there in terms of the sort of productions that exist.
I think there is more room to distribute and to think in terms of an international level about our factual content. We heard evidence given to you earlier making the same point. That is gathering steam at the moment, I think. There is a series that Cwmni Da is producing at the moment, Llanw, which translates as 'tide', which is linked to a broadcaster in China, for example. There is a series that we're producing in Rondo, Y Wal (The Wall), which is a co-production with a broadcaster in South Korea and in Ireland that is being distributed by Cineflix. So, quite suddenly, productions from Wales are being seen and distributed across the world, and I think that is to be welcomed, certainly.
Just a couple of comments you made right at the beginning, Luned, with regard to Brexit: you said there were challenges and concerns there. You said there were challenges and concerns with regard to the possibility of some companies transferring headquarters and so on, and we know—we've heard previously—that there are some issues in terms of funding that used to come in in support. I wonder if you could just clarify in a little bit more detail precisely what is happening out there, what your fears are, what the implications are for the industry within Wales of that. How likely is it to happen? Is there anything we can do about it?
It's something that the sector is very concerned about at the moment and is looking at. Historically, Wales has been able to access funds from the MEDIA fund and other pots of money across Europe. Historically, also, when there was a lot of animation production, there were co-productions on a wide scale across several different countries at the same time. So, there was money moving around quite freely within different countries and contributing into material that was actually being made in Wales.
But I think the fear at the moment is partly of the unknown—where there are current funding sources, whether or not they will still be available. And it's just something that everybody is very aware of, and, especially, there are different perceptions in different countries in Europe about how they feel about bringing money into the UK rather than—for example, a company in France who might have contributed to a co-production in the UK quite happily might prefer the production to move to France because they, again, are not sure what the long-term effect is going to be post leaving.
How sound is that base, though? Is it based on genuine evidence of things?
There was a section of the Focus convention in London in December 2017 where there was a session on animation, and, for that specific sector, there was genuine concern from production companies and also from some of the trade bodies that look after animation in general; it is a concern.
Okay, thank you.
Any comments, any—?
Shall I perhaps go back to your original question about the general health of the sector, and just build on some of the points that have been made by TAC, perhaps from a more UK-wide point of view? I think, really, the tv and certainly the independent production sector, and the tv sector more broadly, is in a very good place at the moment. I think we've seen, both across the UK and relevant to Wales as well, a number of different moves and interventions over the last year that I think really mean that we're moving into another phase for the production sector. Certainly, there have been opportunities at a number of different levels. For example, an injection of more investment from a local programming point of view, both through BBC Wales and to the other nations across the UK. We've got contestability, the opening out of opportunities through the BBC under the new charter, so that's more opportunities for companies like Pact members—independent production companies—to bid for those opportunities.
We've got the shift, the very welcome move, by Channel 4 to invest 50 per cent of their spend, their investment, out of London by 2023, which we always argued was a really important part of the picture. It was about investment—yes, the creative hubs and the new national hub are going to be very important as well, but it's that investment that's really key. So, I think that there have been a number of shifts in the landscape over the last year that I think put the independent production sector and the tv sector in an even better place to move forward in the future.
Nid oes yn rhaid i chi i gyd ateb pob cwestiwn, gyda llaw, ond os ydych chi eisiau ateb hefyd—.
Not all of you have to answer every question, but if you'd like to comment as well—.
The only thing to add is that I think there's no doubt that drama's a big success in Wales, and I think the challenge is to get factual production up there as well, but there's no doubting that drama is doing really brilliantly.
Cyn i ni symud ymlaen at Neil Hamilton, byddwn i jest eisiau gwybod, gan Luned efallai—rydym ni wedi clywed am Channel 4, ac mae ceisiadau gwahanol ar draws Cymru. Pam rydych chi wedi dod mas i gefnogi Caerdydd? Achos, ar ôl gwrando ar lot o'r dystiolaeth, nid ydw i'n sicr os oes yna strategaeth y tu ôl i beth mae Cymru yn ei ddweud ar hyn. Mae yna lot fawr o bobl yn cefnogi bidiau gwahanol a byddwn i wedi meddwl efallai y byddai wedi bod yn syniad i roi pennau at ei gilydd efallai i feddwl am hyn yn fwy strategol, ond efallai y gallech chi roi mwy o wybodaeth i ni.
Before I move on to Neil Hamilton, I would just like to know, from Luned perhaps—we've heard about Channel 4, and there are different bids across Wales. Why have you come out to support Cardiff? Because, after listening to a lot of the evidence, I'm not sure whether there's a strategy behind what Wales is saying on this. Many people support different bids, and I would have thought that perhaps it would have been an idea to bring heads together and think about this on a more strategic level, but perhaps you could provide us with more information.
Yn syml iawn, petasai yna efallai ymdrech wedi bod i gyfuno bidiau gan wahanol lefydd, byddem ni wedi edrych ar hynny, ond mi wnaeth Caerdydd gais i ni ei chefnogi ac fe wnaethom ni. Nid yw'r bidiau eraill wedi bod mewn cysylltiad. Yn amlwg, mi fyddem ni wedi edrych ar ardaloedd lle mae aelodau TAC yn cronni. Rŷm ni bob amser yn ymwybodol bod yr amgylchedd economaidd yn un pwysig, ond dyna fel buodd hi.
Quite simply, had there been an attempt to merge bids from different areas, we would have looked at that, but Cardiff sought our support and we gave that support. The other bids haven't been in touch with us. Clearly, we would have looked at areas where TAC members are concentrated. We're always aware that the economic environment is an important issue, but that's what happened.
Felly, nid oedd dim arweinyddiaeth lywodraethol chwaith yn ceisio cysylltu â'r bobl a oedd yn ceisio mewn ardaloedd gwahanol—nid oedd dim fel yna wedi digwydd yn ôl eich barn chi.
So, there was no Government leadership in trying to link with those who were making the bids in different areas—nothing like that has happened in your view.
Ond, rydw i'n meddwl—. Gofynnwyd i ni roi llinell o gefnogaeth o ran cais a oedd yn cael ei arwain gan Gyngor Caerdydd. Roeddem ni'n gwneud y pwynt mewn ffordd bod hwnnw'n mynd i fod o fudd i Gymru gyfan. Mae'r gwariant—y pwynt yr oedd Rosina yn ei wneud ynglŷn â Channel 4 ynglŷn â'r gwariant sydd yn digwydd y tu allan i Lundain—fe ddylai fod y sector trwy Gymru'n gallu elwa o hynny. Mae yn rhywbeth, rwy'n credu, sydd eisiau inni edrych arno—bod yna dim gorganoli o ran gweithgareddau yng Nghaerdydd. Mae gyda ni sector yn y gogledd, cwmnïau yng Nghaernarfon a chwmnïau yng Nghriccieth sydd yn gwneud gwaith i Channel 4 ar hyn o bryd. Felly, mae gennym ni wahanol aelodau ar draws Cymru ac rwy'n credu fe ddylai hi fod yn haws i'r rheini sydd eisiau ennill mwy o waith ar gyfer darlledwr fel Channel 4 gwneud hynny nawr, achos rwy'n credu ei fod yn newid meddylfryd gyda darlledwyr fel Channel 4 nawr o fod yn symud penderfyniadau a gwariant ac, yn wir, comisiynwyr, y tu allan i Lundain fel nad yw'r penderfyniadau yna yn cael eu canoli i gyd mewn un man a bod y gwariant yn cael ei wasgaru ar draws y Deyrnas Unedig.
But, I think—. We were asked to provide a line of support in terms of the bid led by Cardiff Council. We made the point in a way that that would benefit the whole of Wales. The point that Rosina made on Channel 4 and the expenditure happening outwith London—the sector throughout Wales should be able to benefit from that. It's something that we need to look at so that there isn't overcentralisation of activities in Cardiff. We have a sector in north Wales, companies in Caernarfon, and a company in Criccieth currently doing work for Channel 4. So, we have various members across Wales and it should be easier for those companies that do want to get more work for a broadcaster such as Channel 4 to do so, because I think there's a change in mindset among broadcasters like Channel 4, in shifting decision making and expenditure decisions, and, indeed, commissioners, outwith London, so that those decisions aren't all focused in one area and the expenditure is disseminated across the UK.
Ac mae'r de-orllewin hefyd. Mae yna bresenoldeb cwmni annibynnol yn y de-orllewin, ac wrth gwrs mae Abertawe wedi bod yn edrych ar gynnig, felly—
And there is the south-west too. There are independent companies present in the south-west, and, of course, Swansea have been looking at bidding, so—
A Chastell-Nedd Port Talbot hefyd, jest i fod yn deg.
And Neath Port Talbot too, just to be fair.
Roeddwn i jest yn wyndran—jest eisiau cael mwy o wybodaeth roeddwn i, achos nid oeddwn i'n gweld bod yna unrhyw fath o gysylltiad strategol, ond diolch. Neil Hamilton.
I was just wondering—I just wanted to have more information, really, because I couldn't see that there was any sort of strategic link, but thank you. Neil Hamilton.
We've just taken the very safe position of not backing any of them. [Laughter.] Because we know we've got members across the UK, so it was the safest thing to do, but good luck to everybody.
Yes. Can I ask you what your thoughts are on the UK Government's creative industries sector deal? We heard from Rhodri Talfan Davies earlier on this morning and he emphasised the importance of this for diverting spend away from London and the south-east, and you neatly fed into that with your evidence a moment ago about needing to divert out from the south-east of Wales as well into other parts of Wales—a very important factor.
In TAC's evidence, you talk about a UK-wide creative careers campaign as perhaps part of this as well—encouarging young people to take up careers across the breadth of skills required in the media production sector. So, how should the Welsh Government respond to this deal? What are the principal features that the Welsh Government should have in mind in trying to access the scope that will be given to it by the deal to us by the UK Government?
I think the first thing to say is that, obviously, a £150 million investment by the creative industries sector deal is greatly to be welcomed and Rhodri Talfan is quite right—we do need to make sure that some of those funds come to Wales and the training will be a part of that. That's being looked after by the Creative Industries Federation, and TAC is a member of that and so we'll be working with the federation to try and focus some of those training needs to that end. TAC is also supporting a creative clusters bid that was mentioned by Ruth McElroy to bring research and development funding to three south Wales universities. I feel that this would be a real fillip to south Wales—again, perhaps outside the Cardiff bubble, including the areas between Cardiff and further east.
We also noted that a lot of the priority support is going to be on the technological side, so virtual reality, artificial intelligence, games, platforms—things like that. So, I think it's important to try and make sure that some of it is creative so that the creative industries are fed. There was an interesting point made in research by Sir Peter Bazalgette, side by side with the creative industries, that said that even though the creative industries are thriving they thrive more effectively when there is co-operation between Government and the industry. So, with Welsh Government, it would be, I think, very beneficial to try and combine the priorities of the Government and the needs of the sector in order to best move the creative industries forward, and, referring back again to your point about the training, to make sure that that is, if you like, a welcome side-benefit to the money that will be going into the creative industries in general, not just, of course, in film and television.
And Rhodri said earlier about the importance of creating these creative clusters throughout the UK, and, in Pact's evidence, you referred to the situation we've got in Wales where there is a positive cluster in relation to animation that can be developed further. So, can you build on what Luned has just said about the creative sector deal from the Welsh Government's perspective?
Yes, well, obviously, we were thrilled to play a role in shaping the deal and the outcome. And I think we shouldn’t underestimate the fact that this is, really, the first time that the Government has, within an industrial strategy, recognised the creative industries as being a really important part, alongside many other sectors that have been recognised in the past—that, really, this is the first time we've been recognised in this way, and the importance that it has both culturally and to the economy as well, and set out a number of ways—. Well, that's what the deal is: a number of ways in which the Government can bring in funding and also that the industry can support the programme, the deal, going forward.
I think we'd certainly like the Welsh Government to engage with the deal, because it seems that the publication of the recent economic plan signalled a shift away from focusing on the film and tv sector and on the creative industries more broadly. So, I think we'd welcome the Welsh Government engaging with what's on offer and promoting, as Luned said, some of the very valuable pots of funding. I know that universities have already engaged with the clusters funding, but Wales has always been a strong centre for digital development and digital industries, so we'd hope that there'd be encouragement to companies accessing the virtual reality and augmented reality funds.