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Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Film studios complex plans released
Cinema graphic
Plans for a film studio and movie-based leisure complex which could create more than 2,000 jobs in south Wales have been unveiled.

Backers of the project are hoping to build the 350-acre development on a former opencast coal site near Bridgend.


This is a very ambitious project which if successful would be a significant boost for the Welsh economy

Graham Hawker, WDA Chief Executive

The scheme would also include an international film academy designed to foster creative Welsh talent.

Lord Richard Attenborough is an advisor for the plans and offered advice guidance on Wales's suitability as a centre for movie-making.

The complex - which would be called Dragon International Studios - is part of plans which include business parks and a hotel/conference centre.

The proposals were submitted for planning permission on Thursday with developers hoping to begin work on the scheme by the middle of next year.

Two developers, Fairfield Properties and West Air properties, are backing the project.

Centre of excellence

Project spokesman Brian Willott said: "For the film industry, the new studios will be highly competitive in both quality and cost.

"Our aim is to create an international centre of excellence... to provide a real focus for creative media talent in Wales."

The movie complex at Llanilid near Pencoed, would be part of an 840-acre site next to the M4 between Cardiff and Bridgend.

It is hoped the first stages of the complex could be finished in three years time and the whole project completed by the year 2006.


Our aim is to create an international centre of excellence... to provide a real focus for creative media talent in Wales

Brian Willott project spokesman

Welsh Development Agency Chief Executive Graham Hawker said: "This is a very ambitious project which if successful would be a significant boost for the Welsh economy."

Lord Attenborough said Wales's full potential as a film centre had not been explored. He said it was a good location.

He said plans were "very, very exciting on a scale that is extraordinary."

Details of the design of the scheme have not been released however backers of the project have said that it will be based on similar developments in America.

It is hoped it will give tourists the chance to tour the sets of famous films, enjoy simulator experiences and sample a wide range of themed activities.

The aim is to attract up to 1.2 m visitors a year.

Mr Willott said: "The site is in the Objective One area of the Valleys and is an excellent example of how a brownfield site of this kind can be used for imaginative regeneration.

"Consideration of the outline planning application by Rhondda Cynon Taff is the next step."

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales's Caroline Evans
"The plans revealed for the site are hugely ambitious"
See also:

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Made but not seen in Wales
13 Jul 01 | Film
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Ealing for the 21st Century
21 Jun 01 | Film
Carry On Pinewood
21 Oct 99 | Scotland
255m studio plan for Scotland
17 Aug 01 | New Media
Hollywood studios offer net videos
07 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Hollywood faces piracy battle
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