A WORLD-CLASS film studio is to be built between Newport and Cardiff which could support 'more than 2000 jobs' the Welsh Government announced today.
The deal, signed with Pinewood Studios is set to generate an estimated £90million spend with Welsh businesses.
First Minister Carwyn Jones unveiled the new studio plans at a press conference with Economy Minister Edwina Hart, who struck the deal, and Pinewood Shepperton plc Chief Executive Officer Ivan Dunleavy.
The new 180,000 sq ft studio will be created at the former Energy Centre building at Wentloog Corporate Park and will form part of Pinewood’s global network of film studios.
Announcing the new studio, the First Minister said: “After the glitz and glamour of last night’s BAFTA awards, I can reveal that the Welsh Government has secured one of the biggest prizes in the British film and television industry. This deal with Pinewood is a major coup for Wales.”
He said: “Attracting such an iconic global brand as Pinewood is wonderful news for Wales. Pinewood is synonymous with world class British and international productions, including the James Bond film franchise and is home to some of the most successful feature films ever made.
Newport-born star Michael Sheen added his support, saying: "This appears to be great news for Wales and a logical next step building upon the huge success of the revitalized Welsh entertainment industry. It's always a precarious business to attempt such a large undertaking, but it points to the confidence, the expertise and the creative spirit of the people of Wales and I hope it can help the country come closer to realising its hopes for the future."
Economy Minister Edwina Hart, who led a trade visit to Los Angeles last year to raise the Welsh profile in Hollywood, said:”Pinewood is synonymous with British film. The Welsh Government will invest up to £30m into projects brought forward by Pinewood and aimed at increasing film and TV production in Wales.
“Over the past twelve 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.”
“It also opens the door for further, future investment providing additional growth opportunities. This new partnership is great news and supports the Welsh Government’s commitment to stimulating the economy through supporting our key sectors that have the potential to create employment and wealth.
Ivan Dunleavy, Chief Executive Officer, Pinewood Shepperton plc said: “We are delighted to have agreed with the Welsh Government to advise it on its television and film funding initiative. This builds on our success with Pinewood Pictures and managing the Isle of Man Treasury Film and Television Fund. Our combined advisory investment funds now total £55 million making them one of the largest investment portals for new British television and film content”.
“The new fund together with the new facility will do much to boost the Welsh film and television sector. The fund is also another step forward for creating a sustainable UK film and television production centre”.
Pinewood and Shepperton Studios have been home to more than 1,500 films in more than 75 years, including the James Bond franchise, and Carry On series. There are over 241 independent, media related companies based at Pinewood and Shepperton’s Media hub.
Site of the planned studio at Wentloog between Newport and Cardiff:
And here's how close it actually is to Newport: