Dawn Bowden MS, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism
The latest statistics available on sectors supported by Creative Wales have been published. The data sets cover the period January to December 2022 and include information on the number and size of creative businesses, turnover, employment, and weekly earnings.
The growth of Wales’ creative industries is recognised as one of our major economic success stories, with these latest statistics showing that this part of the economy continues to perform well. In 2022 alone, the creative sectors supported by Creative Wales generated an annual turnover of £1.4 billion and employed some 32,500 people, in addition to a significant freelance sector.
The number of creative businesses registered in Wales has continued to grow over the last five years and now accounts for 3.3% of all registered businesses in Wales, with 3,545 creative businesses operating here as of 2022. This has increased by 8.9% since 2017.
As with many sectors across the Welsh economy, we have seen some reductions in performance when compared to the previous year. Specifically, turnover and employment figures are generally lower across all subsectors, suggesting that the Welsh creative industries have been impacted in some way. This is likely to reflect the ongoing challenging economic conditions that all businesses are experiencing, as the world continues to recover from the global pandemic and contend with rising energy and business costs.
The latest figures are also likely to have been impacted by the fact that 2021 was an extremely busy year for film and TV production in Wales, largely as a result of Covid related factors. In addition, the figures may also reflect the varying types of productions located in Wales during 2021 and 2022, with fewer large inward investment productions in 2022 meaning more modest economic outputs during that period. This is in line with our balanced approach to support and reflects the importance of investing in indigenous productions alongside larger projects that provide a sustainable pipeline of activity that helps to grow our skills base and realise wider cultural benefits.
Despite these issues, our booming screen industry, which has been home to major global productions such as Sex Education and His Dark Materials as well as indigenous productions such as Y Golau/The Light in the Hall continues to contribute the largest amount to Wales’ creative sectors with a turnover of £459m in 2022, an increase of 37% since 2017.
Creative Wales, the Welsh Government agency established in 2020 to harness the power of our creative industries, is continuing to work closely with the sector to provide the support that will help to ensure it has a vibrant, sustainable, and healthy future. The statistics, supplemented by wider research and stakeholder engagement to complement statistical data where it is based on smaller sample sizes, allow Creative Wales to track growth, trends and issues over time so support can be directed accordingly and ultimately support sector growth.