Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010

BBC drama centre plan to film Doctor Who and Casualty

An artist's impression of the production centre
Work could start at the site in Cardiff within the next six months

Plans have been unveiled by BBC Wales to build a new TV production centre to house dramas such as Doctor Who and Casualty.

The broadcaster said work at a site, which would also house other media companies, could start in six months.

Its director Menna Richards said the centre in Cardiff Bay would bring together a range of different dramas.

The BBC confirmed last year that the filming of Casualty would switch from Bristol to Cardiff.

The drama centre at Roath Basin is part of the BBC's commitment to double television network production from Wales by 2016.

But it would not only provide opportunities for the BBC and the wide range of businesses within its supply chain, but also other businesses within the creative media sector.

Ms Richards said: "The BBC has confirmed it is to build a drama centre at Roath Basin in Cardiff Bay and has reached agreement with key partners to complete the site, subject to planning consent.

This is a fantastic opportunity to build on the success of BBC Wales drama production
BBC Wales director Menna Richards

"This is a fantastic opportunity to build on the success of BBC Wales drama production and the wider creative industries in Wales.

"We look forward to welcoming the cast and crew of the enormously successful Casualty to this new centre of excellence to work side-by-side with the other award-winning dramas which are already made in Wales."

Currently, BBC Wales produces drama programmes from two separate sites at Llandaff in Cardiff and Upper Boat, near Pontypridd, as well as a number of locations around Wales.

Filming on Casualty is expected to start in Wales next year.

The programme will join a growing stable of network drama produced in Wales, including Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures and the BBC's longest-running television soap, Pobol y Cwm.

There has been strong opposition to the decision to move the filming of Casualty away from Bristol.

A local newspaper ran a campaign to keep it in the city where it has been filmed for 20 years.

'Prosperity'

Deputy First Minister Ieaun Wyn Jones said the Welsh Assembly Government was working with BBC Wales and Cardiff City Council on the project.

Casualty and Doctor Who
Casualty and Doctor Who would be among the centre's drama productions

He said: "Crucially, when operational it should also play a vital role in terms of creating sustainable jobs supported by training and skills provision and prosperity - which is central to my vision of bringing about economic renewal in Wales.

"The wider development will enable other players within the creative industries sector to benefit from the creation of a new strategic hub in the Welsh capital."

Leader of Cardiff council, Rodney Berman added: "This is a very welcome announcement. I am delighted that BBC Wales is now able to confirm that the proposal for a new drama village will be progressed at the Roath Basin site.

"BBC Wales has become an increasingly important contributor of network drama in recent years, based on the phenomenal success of shows such as Doctor Who and Torchwood.

"It's great to see this leading to new investment in production facilities here in the Welsh capital."



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SEE ALSO
BBC's Casualty to move to Wales
26 Mar 09 |  Wales
Campaign to keep drama in city
04 Mar 09 |  Bristol
BBC's Casualty may move to Wales
15 Oct 08 |  Wales
BBC evicts top shows from London
15 Oct 08 |  Entertainment

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