UWTSD celebrates Canolfan S4C Yr Egin’s first year


25.10.2019

Today (October 25th), the University of Wales Trinity Saint David is celebrating a year since the official opening of Canolfan S4C Yr Egin.

Yr Egin

A year to the day that the Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM - First Minister of Wales at the time – officially opened the building, UWTSD is taking a look back on a year full of creativity and successful collaboration.

Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is a dynamic centre that is home to S4C’s main headquarters as well as a number of companies and organisations working with the creative and digital industries.  It’s also a centre that’s at the heart of the community providing opportunities for local people to enjoy the building and its resources – including an auditorium, Y Stiwdio Fach; a stunning public space, called Y Galon and a cafe, Y Gegin.

This is a centre that brings together the creative and digital content industries to spark ideas and create connections while also nurturing talent and sharing resources - all under one roof.

With S4C as the main anchor tenant, Yr Egin is also home to a range of companies working in the creative industries including multi-media publishing and digital technology; digital education; video production and photography; post production; graphic design; translation and sub-titling as well as financial management for the creative industries. They include: Boom, Gorilla, Atebol, Big Learning Company, Captain Jac, Asset Finance Solutions, Carlam, Highly, Lens 360, Moilin, Optimwm, and Trywydd.

Yr Egin is also now home to a new business incubation centre, the Enterprise Hub. The Hub is one of four new Enterprise Centres across Wales that are part of the Welsh Government's drive to support entrepreneurs. The Hub is led by the social enterprise, Business in Focus working in partnership with UWTSD; Tramshed Tech; Wales Cooperative Centre and both Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire County Councils.  The Hub provides individuals and companies with room to start and grow their businesses in a stimulating, welcoming community.  The Hub also offers a co-working space within Yr Egin for those establishing their businesses.  To date, the programme has supported over 50 businesses with more than 250 people having also benefitted from the many workshops, presentations and events organised by the Hub team.

Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, said: “A year after the official opening of Yr Egin, it is wonderful to be able to look back on what has been a very successful period for the centre.  Yr Egin is certainly well established at the heart of Carmarthenshire's creative community and has successfully created a strong cluster within the building.

“When developing Yr Egin we set out to establish a creative and digital centre in Carmarthenshire to support economic and linguistic regeneration in west Wales. The fact that we now have a vibrant community of companies established in the building co-locating with S4C demonstrates the ability of national organisations to transform and create opportunities in rural Wales. Establishing the Enterprise Hub has also been an important step for us in realising our vision of providing opportunities for local entrepreneurs looking to set up or grow their businesses. I am delighted to see so many individuals, organisations, schools and companies enjoying and contributing to the Centre’s diverse offering.”

Yr Egin

S4C Chief Executive Owen Evans added: “Relocating S4C headquarters from Cardiff to Carmarthen was a brave decision for the channel, but after a year at Yr Egin, we are confident that we are now leading the way for other organisations to realise that it is possible to operate a national headquarters outside of the capital. There are now 58 members of staff working for S4C at Canolfan S4C Yr Egin, many of them are new staff who live locally and have taken the opportunity to develop their careers in the media in west Wales. We have also launched an apprenticeship scheme in the West which gives the young people in the Carmarthen area a chance to experience different aspects of working for S4C and the creative industries. Our headquarters continues to develop, and it’s great to see it so busy and to see local talents shine at our centre in Carmarthen.”

Yr Egin is now an integral part of University campus life as well as playing an important role in the area’s creative and social life, providing numerous opportunities for people of all ages to create, learn and enjoy its modern facilities.

From Welsh film nights to live shows, and musical events to school workshops, Yr Egin is now part of the way of life for many people in Carmarthenshire.  The University is keen to ensure that the impact of Yr Egin is felt throughout the county and, as a result, is currently working with the local Mentrau Iaith to provide workshops and events across Carmarthenshire.  Yr Egin has also established the Asbri programme - a Saturday morning film-making club – to inspire and develop future talent.

With financial support through the LEADER fund – a fund administered by Carmarthenshire County Council on behalf of Grŵp Cefn Gwlad – the University is developing a creative and digital engagement project to work with different communities across Carmarthenshire.

“Following an exciting first year at Canolfan S4C Yr Egin - where over 10,000 children, young people and adults have visited us to take part in workshops, watch performances, attend meetings and receive training - I am delighted that through the Grwp Cefn Gwlad and the LEADER grant we can now build on this by visiting communities across Carmarthenshire,” says Carys Ifan, Director of Canolfan S4C Yr Egin.

"Raising awareness of the opportunities available within the creative industries to the county's residents through Yr Egin - be it in terms of careers, training or leisure - is an important element in ensuring the realisation of Yr Egin aims.

“By working with the Mentrau Iaith it has been possible to reinforce one of our main aims, which is to support the Welsh language and develop a bilingual workforce,” adds Carys.

Yr Egin

THE BUILDING

Since opening its doors, Yr Egin has gained significant national recognition for its stunning architecture.

The building was named one of the best buildings in Wales by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in Wales and went on to win the 'Commercial' category at the Institute's prestigious awards in May this year.

Yr Egin was also highly commended at the UK RICS Awards a few weeks ago and during the summer, the building was shortlisted for the National Eisteddfod’s Gold Medal for Architecture.

The internal layout of the 3,700 square metre building is focused around a public foyer and atrium that overarches the three floors. There is a specific focus on broadcasting and performance on the ground floor, with S4C based on the first floor and a range of companies from the creative industries based on the second floor.

The design team was a partnership between local architect Niall Maxwell and his Carmarthen-based company, Rural Office for Architecture (ROA), and BDP (Building Design Partnership), an international firm of architects, engineers and designers.

"This building was designed as a vessel for creativity, to be shaped by the media and digital creatives working and studying in Wales,” says Niall Maxwell.

“It provides a fantastic opportunity for academia, industry and the Welsh language community to come together in this rural heartland to nurture and develop talent"

Neil Sansum, BDP’s project director adds: “Making truly creative space for truly creative people has been a hugely exciting and rewarding project for us at BDP. Building connections and collaboration lies at the heart of the design, offering a light, bright central atrium that unites the building’s spaces, from the entrance hall and auditorium to the studio and office spaces, and connects the people who use it. We hope Yr Egin will help nurture collaboration and innovation for generations to come.”

The main contractor for Yr Egin was Kier Group plc who was responsible for managing the detailed and technical design of the building as well as the construction process.

During the build, 19 Welsh Contractors were used; 90,000 man hours were spent on site and on average of 40 people were on site for the 78 weeks of the build.

For further information about Yr Egin, please visit www.yregin.cymru or email helo@yregin.cymru

You can also follow Canolfan S4C Yr Egin on Facebook and @yr_egin on Twitter.

Yr Egin

Further Information

For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer by emailing sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk / 01267 676908 / 07449 998476