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Image credit: BBC Studios

The Creative Industry: A New Frontier

On Christmas Day, like so many others, we settled down to watch the brilliant special episode of Doctor Who. Days later, we were engrossed in the heartwarming drama of Men Up. We marvelled at the high profile year for the creative industries in Wales. And felt proud to be connected to it, through our work with clients like Bad Wolf, Media Cymru, Painting Practice and Afanti.

It got us thinking about how Wales is helping creatives resist the gravitational pull of London, proving that talent can thrive beyond traditional industry hotspots. Creative jobs in the big smoke are disproportionate. We couldn’t help googling it – London is home to 31% of the UK’s creative industry jobs, and generates 52% of economic output (1). Cor blimey guvnor. But the tides are changing. Creative clusters across the UK are flourishing; particularly here in Wales.


Quantifying the TARDIS Effect: Doctor Who’s Legacy

Ahead of that exhilarating Doctor Who Christmas special, the BBC released a report; Doctor Who: Economic Impact (2). It’s a fascinating analysis of the legacy impact of this cornerstone programme, since its revival and relocation to Wales back in 2004. Initially a risky commissioning move for the BBC, the hit series has contributed around £135 million to the Welsh economy from 2004 to 2021. Beyond financial gains, Doctor Who’s success has bolstered confidence in the skills and talent of our workforce, and in Wales’ ability to deliver world-class, high-end drama, making it a leading destination for drama production in the UK. 

The creative landscape is inter-connected, and supportive. The report points to cross-industry commitment to skills and talent from Welsh universities, Sgil Cymru and Screen Alliance Wales in addition to strong innovation programmes and policy analysis from Media Cymru and Clwstwr. Throw in a combination of incredible talent, advancements in technology, government support, increasing demand for fresh and authentic narratives, and our achingly beautiful landscapes, and Wales seems unstoppable. 

In 2022, Wales’ creative industries reached a record £4.2bn, contributing 4.6% to total turnover (2). To put this into perspective, the Creative and Cultural Industries produce a significantly higher turnover than many other key sectors of the Welsh economy, such as health and social work, or accommodation and food services. Business is absolutely booming.


“Doctor Who has contributed around £135 million
to the Welsh economy from 2004 to 2021.”


It’s Not All Daffodils and Bara Brith

But for us, while economic growth is an important aspect, the real headlines lie beyond profit. In levelling up opportunities and fostering accessible pathways for talent from diverse backgrounds. In showcasing our incredible landscapes, and cultural richness. In helping Wales tell a new story.

For too long, Welsh stereotypes have prevailed. Our storyline is often one of grit, and resilience. As if crossing the Severn Bridge would somehow transport visitors back into the depths of the Industrial Revolution. And don’t get us wrong; we feel an enduring connection to that story. The hairs on our arms stand up when we hear a male voice choir. The words of Michael Sheen’s Red Mist make us want to stand on our chairs, waving a flag in the air. But, we are not all sheep farmers, or miners. It’s not all daffodils and bara brith. While we cherish our heritage with pride, there is so much more to Wales than meets the eye. 

The growth and success of the creative industries is one way that Wales blows these stereotypes out of the water. Yes; jobs and revenue – absolutely. But also; innovation. Technology. Talent. Upskilling. Researching this article illustrated the breadth of the ripple effect. Wales is riding high, on a new wave of disruptive creative digital businesses. There are world class games developers, and award-winning animators, literally up the road. We read about Wales’ CreaTech industry, where creative and tech industries intersect, changing the way people connect, engage and experience life using innovative, immersive technologies (3).


“The real headlines lie beyond profit. In levelling up opportunities;
showcasing our incredible landscapes, and cultural richness.
In helping Wales tell a new story.”


Inclusive. Collaborative. Sustainable.

And beyond the big screen and the digital wizardry, there is heart, and soul. A genuine desire to remove barriers to entry, and embrace diverse new perspectives. Educators, production companies and funding opportunities that actively nurture and support home-grown talent, throwing opportunity wide open, creating new pathways into the industry. Screen Alliance Wales is described as ‘the gateway between the Film and TV industry and its workforce for this generation and the next’. This collaborative approach facilitates the exchange of knowledge, ideas, innovation, and the creation of groundbreaking and socially impactful content. In a sustainable way.


Playing Our Part

The energy all of this creates is palpable; it offers the world a window to Wales, builds on our culture, and is a source of national pride. We see our role as a supporting act. Harnessing this energy, and communicating it through design. Helping our clients cut through the noise, differentiate, articulate their purpose and create lasting connections with their audiences. Together, we create authentic brands that people can connect with. Brands for an ambitious, future-facing Wales. For example:

  • Collaborating on a game changing brand and website to reflect Media Cymru’s mission to lead media innovation in Wales.
  • The instantly recognisable, fearless brand we created with Bad Wolf
  • Breathing new life into the Afanti brand, bringing their visuals in line with their progressive personality.


As a design agency, we are proud of our contribution to this new story of Wales. We can’t wait for Season 2.