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Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
'Valleywood' film studio plans back on
Film graphic
Proposals for a 350m film studio - dubbed Valleywood - were given a boost on Tuesday when the Welsh Assembly Government withdrew their objections to the plans.

Plans to build the Llanilid film studios between Bridgend and Cardiff had been on hold since May after local authorities were ordered to refuse the application.

Lord Richard Attenborough
Lord Richard Attenborough is supporting the plans

But following a meeting with Lord Richard Attenborough and the team behind the project, Rhondda Cynon Taf council leaders persuaded the assembly to support the plans.

The consortium behind the proposal says it could bring an initial 2,000 jobs to the south Wales valleys - with the possibility of that figure rising to up to 7,000 in the coming years.

Assembly Member Pauline Jarman, also leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf, said: "The council has worked with Dragon International Studios on this project for 18-months.

"I headed a council delegation which met First Minister Rhodri Morgan, to impress on him the need for the assembly to give this project their full backing.


The council will press ahead immediately and determine the planning application

Pauline Jarman, Rhondda Cynon Taf council

"We are delighted that following this meeting it appears that the assembly are removing the obstacles which have delayed progress for many months.

"Dragon Studios could be the biggest jobs project for Wales for a generation.

"The council will press ahead immediately and determine the planning application," she added.

The problem with the planning application lay with a proposal for a new motorway junction on the M4 which would provide a gateway to the studios.

The assembly had blocked the moves but have reversed their decision after Rhondda Cynon Taf council put forward an economic case for the project.

Unique Development

The consortium behind the Dragon International Studios project, want to build an ultra modern movie studio complex, an international film academy and movie-based leisure attractions.

The idea is based on those at the Universal Studio's in America and the site for the development is a former open-cast mine in Llanilid.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan described the Llanilid film studio as "a unique development".

"I am very pleased we have been able to find a way forward which paves the way for this major investment to become a reality," he said.

"The final decision now rests with Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan, the local authorities who are now free to determine the planning application," he added.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales' Hywel Griffith
"With a Welsh studio behind the films, it could prove a real boost for homegrown talent."

More from south east Wales
See also:

10 Aug 01 | Wales
20 Sep 02 | Wales
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