TAXPAYERS in Wales are paying £392,000 a year towards running a film studio, it has been revealed.

In 2014 the Welsh Government spent £9.4 million buying and refurbishing a site in Wentloog, before leasing it to film and TV studio Pinewood.

It was anticipated the studio would create 2,000 jobs and bring £90 million into the Welsh economy.

But the agreement was revised in November 2017 after demand did not materialise, with the Welsh Government now paying an estimated £392,000 a year towards the studio, plus unspecified management costs.

The figures were revealed in a report by the Wales Audit Office, which also showed the Welsh Government has handed over £13.8 million towards supporting 14 films and TV programmes, and has so far recouped £4.3 million of this.

The report said: “The Welsh Government has recognised that these financial projections don’t represent good value for money.

"However, they considered that the new management services agreement with Pinewood, with the potential to generate commercial revenue streams for the Welsh Government, was better than the costs that the Welsh Government would otherwise incurred by leaving the site empty while looking for a new tenant.”

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies grilled Carwyn Jones on the figures during First Minister’s Questions on Tuesday, accusing him of “promising much and delivering little.”

But Mr Jones hit back: “Many projects are still in progress. You wouldn't expect the whole lot to be recouped in one fell swoop, these are long-term projects, and the money is recouped over a longer period.”

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said bringing Pinewood to Wales was "a significant economic opportunity that Wales could not afford to miss out on".

“We have worked closely with Pinewood throughout their time here to get the best economic outcomes from this deal, and we quite rightly relied on the company’s industry knowledge to select a site that best fulfilled their needs," she said.

She added: “As commercial investments in film and television often take several years to fully repay, we expect to see further economic benefits as result of Pinewood’s successes."

Productions which have used the studio include the BBC's Sherlock and Show Dogs, currently in cinemas.

The lack of interest has been partially blamed on the opening of Cardiff's Bad Wolf Studios in May 2017, which itself benefited from £9 million in funding from the Welsh Government.