Pinewood film company to set up studios in Cardiff
The famous film company Pinewood is to set up a new studio in Cardiff.
Pinewood Studios Wales will be based at the former Energy Centre building in Wentloog and will form part of the company's global network.
The deal was announced on Monday by First Minister Carwyn Jones and Pinewood Shepperton chief executive Ivan Dunleavy.
The Welsh government hopes the 180,000 sq ft complex will generate an estimated £90m for the economy.
"Attracting such an iconic global brand as Pinewood is wonderful news for Wales," Mr Jones said.
"This high-profile investment is of significant economic value to Wales while the partnership between the Welsh government and Pinewood offers a priceless opportunity to promote Wales as a world-class location for film and television production."
Pinewood and Shepperton Studios have created more than 1,500 films in more than 75 years, including the James Bond franchise and the Carry On series.
The announcement has been welcomed by Hollywood star Michael Sheen, from Port Talbot, who described the deal as great news.
"This is a logical next step, building upon the huge success of the revitalised Welsh entertainment industry," he said.
"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."
Brothers and Sisters star Matthew Rhys, from Whitchurch, Cardiff, said it was an opportunity for Welsh talent.
"This is more good news for Wales, and recognition of our place on the world stage as a destination for film and television drama production," he said.
"Pinewood is a massive name in film and it's great that more of the many talented people in Wales will now have a chance to ply their trade at home. Having a studio like this on their doorstep will also inspire a new generation of actors and film-makers from Wales."
The sentiment was echoed by award-winning production designer Ed Thomas, whose credits include Da Vinci's Demons, Doctor Who and Torchwood.
"As someone who actively promotes and works in the industry here, I am continually surprised when I meet producers from around the world who still have no idea of our country's contribution to film and television," he said.
"Pinewood will provide much-needed attention on promoting Wales at the highest level so I welcome the decision greatly."
Pauline Burt, chief executive of the Film Agency for Wales, said: "A major player like Pinewood is a great neighbour to have, stimulating inward investment and creating jobs, and we are looking forward to developing opportunities together."
The Welsh government will invest up to £30m into projects brought forward by Pinewood, Economy Minister Edwina Hart said.
Wales has already established a name for itself in television and drama production since the officially opening of BBC Cymru Wales' Roath Lock studios in Cardiff Bay on 2012. Programmes such as Casualty, the Welsh-language drama Pobol y Cwm and children's drama Wizards vs Aliens are made there.
Rhodri Talfan Davies, director of BBC Cymru Wales, said Pinewood Studios Wales was "terrific news" for television and movie production.
"Wales has demonstrated over recent years that we can deliver on the global stage, and this news opens up another exciting new chapter in a remarkable Welsh renaissance," he added.
Pinewood will lease the Cardiff building for a minimum of five years from the Welsh government.
However, it is not the first attempt to create a movie studio complex in Wales.
In 2008, the multi-million pound Dragon International Studios in Rhondda Cynon Taf - nicknamed Valleywood - was partly mothballed after promising to put Wales at the heart of the UK film industry.
Only one film - Ironclad - was shot at the site.