Report highlights economic impact of TV production spend in Wales 11 Nov 2021

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Cardiff-based production company Bad Wolf has published an in-depth analysis highlighting the impact of the company’s high end television production activity in Wales between 2015 and 2020.

The report, authored by Saffery and Nordicity, reveals that 2,243 full time equivalent roles were created in Wales, £114 million in GVA was generated for the Welsh economy and over £121 million was spent on crew and suppliers in Wales.

Bad Wolf was recently named as Production Company of the Year at the Edinburgh Television Festival and it is now the UK’s largest independent production company operating outside of London and the South East of England.

Welsh government support in launching Bad Wolf in Wales has resulted in the company generating £259 million of spend on TV production since its launch in 2015.

The economic impact report reveals that for every £1 million of Welsh government money invested in Bad Wolf productions in Wales, the Welsh economy has benefitted almost tenfold, with £9.5 million in additional gross value added.

Stephen Bristow, a partner in the Film & TV Team at Saffery, who conducted the survey, commented:

“Our report clearly evidences the remarkable economic impact that Bad Wolf has had on the television industry in Wales. Backed by Welsh government funding, Bad Wolf has invested its creative talent into and helped to create a sustainable production base that has, in a short space of time, generated thousands of jobs.

Jane Tranter, founder of Bad Wolf, said:

“As a start-up business with global ambitions, Bad Wolf inevitably required investment. We knew that any private investor would insist the company and its productions be based more traditionally where the broadcasters, agents and majority of talent are based. In centres such as London or Los Angeles, as opposed to Wales. So, instead of seeking private investment at this stage, we went to the Welsh government and asked for investment in return for locking us, and our spend on productions, into building our company in Wales. This innovative deal with Welsh Government would ensure grants led to long-term sustainable jobs and production spend in Wales – with what has resulted in unprecedented success.”

Bad Wolf was the biggest creator of new jobs in any sector in Wales’ Fast Growth 50 list in 2017-19, creating 58% more jobs than the second company in the list. At the same awards, Bad Wolf was recognised for 2,668% growth in turnover and, despite the shut down in production due to Covid-19, it remained fifth in the 2020 list of Fast Growth 50.

The key findings
  • On turnover, Bad Wolf was the UK’s largest independent production company operating outside of London or the South East of England in 2020 (1)
  • In 2019, Bad Wolf ranked first in Wales’ Fast Growth 50 (2) – recognising the very high rate of growth it achieved between 2016 and 2018 (2,668% growth in turnover). Bad Wolf has continued to grow fast and ranked fifth in the 2020 edition of the Fast Growth 50 (3)
  • The scale of Bad Wolf productions is unprecedented in Between 2015 and 2020, Bad Wolf spent a total of £259 million on the production of seven seasons of television – A Discovery of Witches seasons 1, 2 and 3, His Dark Materials seasons 1 and 2, Industry and I Hate Suzie.
  • For each £1 million invested by the Welsh Government, the Welsh economy has benefitted from £9.5 million in additional gross value added (GVA) and 187 full time equivalents (FTEs) of additional employment.
  • Bad Wolf’s spending on local employment and businesses has yielded substantial economic benefits for the Welsh On a gross basis, it created a total of 2,243 FTEs of employment between 2015 and 2020, along with £114.0 million in GVA for the Welsh economy.
  • The additional economic activity stimulated in Wales by Bad Wolf productions generated 1,682 FTEs and £85.5 million in GVA for the Welsh economy (i.e. the loss to the Welsh economy were Bad Wolf not located in Wales and not using Welsh crew and services).
  • Bad Wolf was the biggest creator of new jobs in any sector in Wales’ Fast Growth 50 list in 2017-2019, creating 58% more jobs than the second company in the list.
  • Bad Wolf created 826 FTEs in principal photography for Welsh crew between 2015 and These Welsh crews earned £29.3 million from work on Bad Wolf’s projects. It has employed an estimated 369 individual Welsh residents as crew.
  • A large proportion of Bad Wolf’s expenditure stays in Around 47% of its production spending (amounting to £121.8 million) was for payments to labour, suppliers and intellectual property holders based in Wales.
  • A further £7.5 million of expenditure in Wales resulted from Bad Wolf’s corporate operations (including the operation of Wolf Studios Wales) between 2015 and 2020.
  • 81% of Bad Wolf’s local suppliers report that they had experienced higher turnover since 2015, at least partly due to their business with Bad Wolf.
  • Bad Wolf has been a significant factor in encouraging creative businesses to locate in South 39% of local suppliers said that their decision to locate or relocate to South Wales was because of Bad Wolf being based in the area.
  • Bad Wolf and Screen Alliance Wales have created training programmes that have so far involved 2,017 work placements; 51 traineeships; and 122 new roles facilitated on productions in Wales.