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S4C, BFI victims of government cutbacks

Welsh-language broadcaster S4C has had its budget cut in the latest round of cost cutting by the UK government.

The free-to-air broadcaster currently receives £6.7 million (US$10.1 million) from the UK government, which will be reduced to £5 million. The cut was revealed as UK authorities unveiled a widespread spending review.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which has made a point of noting UK pubcaster the BBC is not cutting back at the same speed as other public bodies, said the cuts were in line with savings in other areas.

Elsewhere, the government said there will be an 8% cut in the amount the British Film Institute receives, a reduction of £1.3 million over the next four years.

Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI said: “In such a challenging financial environment this is a better than anticipated result for UK film and demonstrates the government’s continuing support for a sector that makes such a valuable cultural and economic contribution.”

Looking at the wider UK media landscape, investment firm Edge said that as government funding drops away, private investors should step in.

“The UK creative economy faces a constant battle for funding and support, despite the sector accounting for 10% of the UK’s economy and employing 2.6 million people,” said David Glick, CEO and founder of Edge, which last week launched a £40 million creative industries fund.

“Private investors should see these spending cuts as an opportunity to support the UK’s creative industries, to plug the growing funding gap and to realise potentially excellent investment returns in some truly outstanding creative enterprises.”