Pinewood Studios announces new Cardiff filming facility
Pinewood Studios has announced it will open a new filming facility in the Welsh capital Cardiff. A studio will be built at the former Energy Centre building in Wentloog east of the city. Cardiff already hosts shows including the BBC’s Doctor Who.
Wales Economy Minister Edwina Hart made the deal with Pinewood Shepperton Chief Executive Officer Ivan Dunleavy. Pinewood will advise on and promote the Welsh government's new GBP30 million television and film investment fund, while the new studio is expected to generate around GBP90 million for local businesses.
"The new fund together with the new facility will do much to boost the Welsh film and television sector," commented Dunleavy: "The fund is also another step forward for creating a sustainable UK film and television production centre".
Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “This is a great example of how we are pro-active in attracting business to Wales. We approached Pinewood when we heard they faced a lack of studio capacity and seized this opportunity to bring this world class brand to Wales.”
Added Economy Minister Edwina Hart, who made the deal with Pinewood Shepperton: “Over the past 12 months Wales has supported two major high-end television productions - Da Vinci’s Demons and Atlantis - and this new partnership with Pinewood will undoubtedly propel Wales further onto the international stage.”
Pinewood has been seeking authorisation for its Pinewood Studios Development Framework that outlines an expansion plan for its London site, but there has been stiff opposition from local residents.
Wales is already a hugely popular filming location for both features and television. The BBC bases Doctor Who and its long-running medical drama Casualty at facilities at Roath Lock in Cardiff.
Family fantasy series Atlantis is based at a retrofitted studio in a former supermarket storage building in Chepstow and the international historical fantasy series Da Vinci’s Demons doubled locations throughout south Wales for 15th Century Italy.
Pinewood’s presence in Wales is likely to boost the country’s profile still further and will enable more productions to access Wales’ distinct locations while having expanded options for a local studio base.
As a brand, Pinewood continues to expand internationally. Pinewood Atlanta Studios is in development in Georgia in the US and Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios just outside Singapore will soon host the large-scale miniseries Marco Polo, which is being produced by The Weinstein Company for Netflix.
(Da Vinci's Demons production stills: © 2013 Tonto Films and Television Limited; Doctor Who photo: BBC)
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