The Heritage Site
Founded in 1999 by the merger of Wuxi Radio and Wuxi TV, the Wuxi Radio and Television Group was the first media group of its kind in China. It now comprises six radio stations, seven TV channels, a website, and a weekly newspaper with a circulation of over 200,000.
The former headquarters of the company, which were constructed in the early 1990s and comprise two three-storey buildings in a half-moon shape, have now been transformed into an incubator for cultural businesses. The buildings are today surrounded by two hotels from the 1980s, which have been renovated and put at the service of entrepreneurs, an office block dating from the 2000s that houses various activities including advertising, publishing and animated film, and finally an impressive glass arch which symbolises the group’s success and is home to radio, TV and other broadcasting activities.
The movement of personnel and equipment out of the former headquarters from 2014 gave the impetus to rehabilitate the building, winner of the Luban prize for Chinese architecture and witness to the evolution of Wuxi Radio and TV. With each floor having a height of 6.4m and a total surface area of 6,000m2 split into numerous rooms measuring from 30m2 to 200m2, it was the ideal location to house exceptional artists as well a variety of cultural projects of different sizes. The industrial park is home to cultural and creative industries and named ‘Smart Wuxi Park’, was opened in October 2015.
The International Heritage Site for Culture
The project is first and foremost concerned with heritage – to retain the traces of the old buildings and restore parts of them to house and support cultural enterprises of all sizes. The group’s cultural influence and rich resource base means that it holds huge potential to stimulate creative activities within radio, television and the media.
The site has a policy of preferential rates and taxes for entrepreneurs; in addition to this the project uses the influence and resources of the Wuxi Group to encourage the growth of businesses, their content and their distribution channels. This provides both a platform and diverse possibilities for development.
The Smart Wuxi Park benefits hugely from the media resources and network of its mother company. It can, therefore, quickly and efficiently create channels to showcase its emerging enterprises, launch televisual exhibitions in which resident companies can participate, and organise professional forums to raise the profile of its start-ups. At the same time, the Park supports companies in their communication needs at every stage of their project, developing communication tools and aiding promotion on a variety of scales.
The Smart Wuxi Park has so far produced bespoke video clips for around twenty of its resident projects. It draws on the group’s various broadcast channels to provide a ‘shop window’ for its companies, exchanges and cultural activities. Working with the group’s many radio and television channels, it has commissioned programmes about the resident companies and on cross-sectoral professional collaborations, raising the visibility of its enterprises and entrepreneurs.
In March 2018, the Smart Wuxi Park was ranked among the best cultural industry parks in the Jiangsu province. It responds to the national policy to encourage cultural creativity and is accessible to a wide audience. With 30 cultural companies as long-term residents, the park has succeeded in repurposing its old buildings. In bringing together the old and new resources at its disposition, it has also been able to develop into a true cultural quarter. Home to audiovisual, cultural and creative projects, the Park has positioned itself as an incubator for the cultural and intellectual development of the town of Wuxi.