Cardiff to host 2019 Creative Cities Convention

An expert advisory board comprising representatives from all the main terrestrial broadcasters and Pact has chosen Cardiff as the host city for next year’s Creative Cities Convention. The inaugural industry-backed convention, which took place at Leeds College of Music in April, saw almost 300 delegates from the broadcast industry come together over two days to discuss and debate content production and distribution across the UK.

Cardiff faced stiff competition from Bristol and Glasgow and the three cities each premiered a short video demonstrating their credentials to host the 2019 convention on the main day of this year’s event. The bid from Cardiff was produced by Cardiff Council and major local indie Boom. It starred BBC Radio One DJ Huw Stephens, featured top industry faces including Jodie Whittaker and highlighted a number of reasons why the Welsh capital is a major player in the creative industries – the city is home to Dr Who and is the base for multi-million-pound drama producer Bad Wolf. Cardiff has a diverse cultural offering, is visited by 20 million visitors per year and has three universities. One third of the population is under the age of 24.

Ruth Pitt, director of Creative Cities Convention, commented: “It was a very close call, all three cities had amazing things to offer, but the Big City Challenge panel was really impressed with Cardiff’s bid. The enthusiasm and energy from the Cardiff team, and their commitment to supporting our brand-new conference, proved that the city will make a brilliant host city for next years’ convention. The first Creative Cities Convention in Leeds was a huge success and kickstarted vital conversations about how we can continue to build production outside London and make our industry more representative of the UK population. We can’t wait to carry on the conversation in Cardiff next year.”

Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas said, “This is great news. Winning the pitch for the 2019 Convention is a huge vote of confidence in Cardiff’s creative sector. It shows that the industry recognises Cardiff as a major player in this sector and we hope securing the Convention will give Channel 4 even more reason to look at the Welsh capital as an ideal home for their new HQ. What really sets Cardiff apart is the unique collaborative spirit of the city’s diverse creative community, which fosters strong links between our education system and the industry.  We want the Creative Cities Convention to unleash that spirit and we look forward to welcoming our media colleagues from across the UK so that we can share and listen to their achievements whilst showcasing the extraordinary broadcasting and production happening in Cardiff right now.”

John McVay, Chief Executive at Pact, said, “Pact is delighted that the focus on building creative opportunities is being brought to another part of the UK. We are sure that Cardiff will build on the success of this year’s inaugural Convention in Leeds and will give a future platform to discuss investment and showcase talent outside London.”

Dates for the 2019 convention will be announced in the autumn.