Bad Wolf create 2,243 FTE roles in Wales, as new economic impact report reveals

£114 million in GVA for the Welsh Economy and over £121 million spent on crew and suppliers in Wales

Recently named as Production Company of the Year at the Edinburgh Television Festival, Bad Wolf is now the UK’s largest independent production company operating outside of London and the South East of England with scores of other companies now setting up in Wales as a result of the boom in TV production in the country – and associated service industries from construction to post-production seeing a surge in new business.

Today Bad Wolf is publishing an in-depth analysis completed by Saffery Champness and Nordicity which reviews the impact of the company’s high end television production activity between 2015 and 2020.

Key findings from the report show 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.

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

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, Partner at Saffery Champness and Dustin Chodorowicz at Nordicity, who conducted the analysis said: “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 have invested their creative talent into and helped to create a sustainable production base that has in a short space of time generated thousands of jobs.”

Bad Wolf founder and CEO Jane Tranter 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.”

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport and Chief Whip, Dawn Bowden, said: “I’d like to congratulate Bad Wolf on their first five years – which in partnership with the Welsh Government and Creative Wales has seen dramatic growth and a series of remarkable productions.  These productions have seen investment in local businesses, jobs and skills development which has resulted in substantial economic benefits for Wales. 

In addition to this, being the home of large scale, iconic productions enhances Wales’ reputation globally as being one of ‘the’ go-to destinations for TV & film production, with the crew, skills, studio space and locations that can service large scale productions, and aligns with Creative Wales’ long-term strategy.”

Adrian Wootton, CEO of the British Film Commission commented: “Ever since their creation in 2015, Bad Wolf has had a significant impact on ​​​the UK’s production landscape, producing some of the most impressive film and TV content for global audiences. As this report highlights, they are an excellent​​​​ model for production companies across our UK nations and regions, demonstrating both the economic and social returns on investment our industry can deliver. With global demand for content continuing to soar, Bad Wolf ​is very well-positioned to help Wales attract ever greater investment.”

With the huge surge in TV and film production in Wales – and productions as diverse as His Dark Materials, Industry, Doctor Who and Sex Education being made in the region – skills are at a premium and to secure the future of the industry Bad Wolf has invested heavily in the development of the next generation of talent through Screen Alliance Wales.

During the period of the report, 2015-2020, over 2,000 work placements through Screen Alliance Wales have directly engaged with young Welsh talent with 51 traineeships and 122 new roles at Wolf Studios Wales.  This investment has ensured that the next generation of TV creatives are trained and have the option to remain and contribute to an industry that goes from strength to strength.

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 were recognised for 2,668% growth in turnover and despite the shut down in production due to Covid-19 Bad Wolf remained 5th in the 2020 list of fast growth 50.

Click here to read the full The Economic Impact of Bad Wolf 2015-2020

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.

(1) Broadcast (2021), “Indie Survey Table 2021”, Broadcast, 25 March 2021

(2) Fast Growth 50 (2020), “2019 Fast Growth 50 Awards”

(3) Fast Growth 50 (2021), “2020 Fast Growth 50 Awards”