4theRegion Monthly Meetup – Creative Region!

Creative Monthly Meetup

What are the opportunities for the creative sector in South West Wales?

Creativity and the creative sector encompass a wide variety of practices, including architecture, culture, broadcasting, digital, and writing.  We’re looking for opportunities in the creative world for businesses in South West Wales to THRIVE.

South Wales as a whole is experiencing a huge boom in opportunities, particularly in the creative sector and in the Cardiff area. It’s exciting to see the growth, but it might be that South West Wales isn’t quite getting it’s fair share of activity, so what can we do to strengthen the sector here?

Catch up on the full recording below, or review the notes from this event:


Meeting Highlights & Notes

To set the scene and connect to a sense of purpose, we asked the question: Why does this matter to you, and why does it feel important? Here are some key points people shared:

  • Creative industries often offer work-based qualifications. One of these is Educ8 Training, which offers work-based qualifications fully funded by the Welsh Government.

  • Creativity can be a great initiative to get involved in collaboration, the amount of resources is amazing. You can achieve a lot by working together. The creative sector can be a very lonely place if you work alone.
  • No business succeeds on its own. You need clients. We all feed off each other. We thrive off of relationships with others. Understanding what’s out there is a fundamental part of being a successful business.
  • How can we bring creativity into our working practices to drive higher productivity and a happier workforce?
  • The beauty of Swansea and West Wales is that we’re prepared to work together and network. Going east towards Cardiff may be a bit more competitive. Collaboration and working as a community makes us stronger.
  • We should understand what’s needed to encourage students who study here to stay and work within the region.  Keeping talent here in our region and encouraging them recognise the opportunities on our doorstep is important.
  • We all need creativity, no matter what line of work we’re in.


A wide range of organisations and businesses were represented at this event:

  • Art of Balanced Life
  • Bauer Media
  • Bevan Buckland
  • Big Ideas Wales
  • Cwm Arian
  • Dynamic Development
  • e-development
  • Educ8 Training
  • elysium Gallery
  • Focus Futures
  • Future Clarity
  • Future Generations Commissioner’s Office Wales
  • Green Light Technology Solutions
  • Haverhub
  • iNNOVATION Photography
  • Omni Marketing Agency
  • Planed
  • Plantasia Tropical Zoo
  • Severn Screen
  • Solar Wheel
  • Stori Cymru
  • Swansea Council
  • Swansea University
  • Taliesin
  • Urban Foundry
  • Waters Creative
  • World Horizons
  • Yr Egin


    • The new Swansea city developments indicate that the city is successfully developing during a time and climate where other areas are neglected.
    • Lots of opportunities can come out of regeneration and developments across the region.
    • The creative sector has historically been a purpose of regeneration. We need to be careful not to stifle creativity or not lead it down a forced path. Grassroots projects can make a tangible difference.

    Education, Skills and Work

    • Educ8 Training offers work-based training, fully funded by the Welsh Government.
    • There’s more desire for young people to take a risk and set up their businesses.
    • Based in SA1, UWTSD’s Innovation Matrix offers an incubation space for student start-ups. The opportunities that the Innovation Matrix offers are vital for growing enterprises. The Innovation Matrix also offers the highest rate of start-ups in the UK.
    • Big Ideas Wales supports people aged 16-25 years of age.  They can assist in supporting young people through their entrepreneurship journey.
    • CEMET supports businesses with access to R&D, software, and hardware development. They have extensive experience with a wide range of creative and innovative technologies.
    • Focus Futures, delivered by Business in Focus, provides a mixture of support, guidance and opportunity around self-employment and enterprise. 

    “Networking is a big thing. We need to start shouting about creative entrepreneurs and start to show that artists aren’t just walking around with a flat cap and a dog on a string. The beauty of Swansea and West Wales is that we’re prepared for collaboration.”


      • Cartref Creative is a newly launched creative network that covers the region.

      • We’re seeing local businesses use one another more, keeping the spending in the region.

      • Taliesin with Elysium has been hosting the Swansea Young Musicians Network, providing a space for young people to engage and connect through music. 

      • A lot is happening at Yr Egin involving film and digital media. You can view the upcoming events here.

      “If our creative sector was thriving it wouldn’t be so hard to find creative talent/professionals for our business.”

      If our creative sector was thriving…what would that look like for you?

      • More opportunities becoming available for young talent.
      • Less struggles with finding commercially-based staff with creative talent in the region.
      • There would be more creatives in the board room.
      • Get creatives who use co-working spaces more involved in the planning and design stages of projects.
      • Everyone would be working together.
      • There would be a Universal Creative Income. 
      • People would develop a sense of place, find value in their communities, and feel a sense of pride for staying after graduation to be a part of a thriving creative community.
      • Every town should have a creative quarter where creativity can thrive!  Large disused buildings could become hubs for creative people to come together and collaborate. 
      • We need to feel like collaborators and friends rather than competitors.
      • There’s a relationship that happens between local businesses and creatives.  The cafes, record shops, galleries, etc are all places for creativity to happen.
      • Creatives don’t always know how to make an income using their talent, there should be more opportunities for people to learn how to sell themselves.

      Thank you to everyone who attended! We found this meeting to be a very exciting discussion about the year ahead, and we believe that South West Wales is full of opportunities. We will be going in-depth across a range of topics going forward, so please click here to see future events.

      If you are a 4theRegion member and would like to speak at future events, please email