US investment boost for Wales’ thriving film and TV sector.
The Welsh Government has today announced it has sold Seren Stiwdios in Cardiff to major media infrastructure company Great Point Studios who have leased the studio since 2020.
The purchase is yet another show of confidence for Wales’ flourishing film and TV industry and in addition to the sale of the site, the Welsh Government and Cardiff Capital Region have agreed a funding package of £18m to further develop the studios and facilities in Wentloog. £12m debt finance has been secured through the CCR’s £50m Strategic Premises Fund, with £6m in grant funding through Creative Wales.
The investment will see Great Point Studios further upgrading the studio to create a self-sustaining, world-class studio facility that will not only support increased production demand but also deliver jobs, wealth and growth for the wider supply chain and region. The addition of a collaborative training facility will also help to build the supply of local skills and talent and embed the studio as an innovation hub for virtual production.
The project will deliver 257,000 sq. ft of world-class production space, with four state-of-the-art studios and a comprehensive support infrastructure being built over two phases. In addition, the project will also support up to 750 freelance crew per year, up from the current 250 and the studio in Wales will become the headquarters for Great Point Studios.
Great Point Studios is a media-focused company specializing in film and television infrastructure. The purchase of the Cardiff facility follows the development of their Lionsgate Studios in Yonkers, NY, as well as additional studio campuses Buffalo, NY and Newark, NJ. . Earlier this year, Great Point also announced the building of a major new production facility in Atlanta, Georgia – an area Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething is visiting today as part of a US visit.
Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden, said: “This is a very exciting time for the Creative sector in Wales - and Great Point Studios purchase of the studio and their planned investment is another show of confidence in Wales as a brilliant and established location for film and TV productions.
“This investment will create further jobs and help to cement a strong future for the sector – reinforcing the great demand and respect for our highly skilled creative workforce here in Wales.”
Great Point Studios Founder and CEO Robert Halmi said, “Cardiff has a thriving creative community and offers highly skilled industry professionals not to mention a beautiful setting for any location filming. With the continued strong demand for content, purchasing Seren Stiwdios and expanding our footprint in Wales was a natural next step. We look forward to continuing our commitment to education, local community involvement and further developing many opportunities at Great Point Studios Wales as the country continues to experience such tremendous growth."
Councillor Anthony Hunt, Leader of Torfaen County Borough Council and Chair of CCR’s Regional Cabinet noted the important timing of the investment:
“This investment will enable the current Seren Studios site to realise its full potential as a key part of the CCR Creative Industries priority sector. It comes at a time when Film & TV production is changing shape worldwide - and will enable our Region to play an increasingly impactful global role in a creative industry that brings immense value, in terms of both sustainable job creation and the deepening of local supply chains.
“I’m delighted that all the hard work put in by so many people has delivered such a tremendous result - for a development that perfectly encapsulates the aims and objectives of the CCR Regional Economic & Industrial Plan, and our ambitions to nurture ‘Good Growth’ across the Region.”
Notes to editors
- Seren Studios is film studio in Wentloog, Cardiff extending to 182,292 sq ft. The property was acquired in 2014 for £5.25 m as part of the Pinewood Studio project and subsequently converted to a studio at a cost of £1.5m.
- On 1st October 2020 a 10 year lease was granted to Great Point Studios. On completion of the lease the parties also entered into an option agreement that provided Great Point Studios with an opportunity to purchase the freehold of the property between 1st April 2022 and 31st March 2025.
- The studios have been sold to Great Point Studios Limited for the sum of £9.35m excl VAT