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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 February 2008, 08:46 GMT
Rainforest plan for film studios
Artist's impression of the rainforest attraction
An artist's impression of the design of the covered rainforest attraction
A developer says it is planning a 45m "rainforest experience" next to the "Valleywood" film studios under construction in south Wales.

Rainforest Ventures says it was asked to provide the "anchor" attraction adjoining the site near Bridgend.

It says it will offer visitors the "exhilaration" of the rainforest while learning about its importance to climate and eco-systems.

Dragon Studios has been asked to comment on the project.

Building work on the film studios at a 317-acre former opencast mine site near Llanharan began last August and the first stage of the development is set to finish by June.

Oscar-winning actor and director Richard Attenborough is the chairman of the scheme, which it is claimed will make south Wales a centre of the UK film industry and could create 1,700 jobs.

Archipelago

The complex aims to bring 12 studios, including one of 30,000 sq ft and two of 20,000 sq ft, to provide facilities for recording anything from a quiz show to a big screen blockbuster.

Rainforest Ventures Ltd said it had been invited by Lord Attenborough and exploration discussions with the Welsh Assembly Government have begun.

Plans
Construction of the first stage of the film studios is under way

The company said it had commissioned a "high-impact design for the proposed 100,000 sq ft enclosed tropical botanic attraction, and associated visitor centre and hotel".

It said the Bridgend project would focus on plant species from the Indonesia Malay archipelago.

Director John Woodman said it welcomed the invitation of Dragon Studios "to establish the footprint of an endangered rainforest habitat in this former mining area".

He added: "Our company aims to assure sustained public attention to the threat of rainforest deforestation via logging, shifting cultivation, agricultural land development etc, and the role and value these vital regions play in maintaining global climate balance".

The company said the rainforest would operate all year round and form the anchor visitor attraction in a cluster of leisure projects being planned by Dragon Studios.

It also said new employment opportunities would be created all year round and it expects to work closed with the horticultural college at nearby Pencoed.

The film studio was granted outline planning permission by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council in December 2003 and includes consent for a business park, hotel and leisure facilities in addition to the film studios.



SEE ALSO
Call for clarity on 'Valleywood'
15 Jun 07 |  South East Wales
More delays for Valleywood studio
11 May 05 |  South East Wales
Mousehunt delays Valleywood
12 Jan 05 |  South East Wales
Valleywood work to start
27 Aug 04 |  Wales

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