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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Filming Dr Who episodes in the Senedd

I don't often look at the disclosure log on the Welsh Assembly website, detailing the responses to Freedom of Information requests. It makes a fascinating read, not just for answers but for some of the queries too.

As we have just celebrated the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who I particularly focused on the question as to how much the Welsh tax payer received as a result of renting out the Senedd for filming Dr Who episodes? The answer it seems is not a great deal.

The response is that the Assembly is keen for the Senedd to be used as widely as possible in ways that might benefit Wales and the Assembly. It therefore does not request fees from broadcasters for filming carried out on the estate, unless the filming would result in additional costs being incurred by the Assembly.

They add that the Assembly’s view in this respect has been that it is beneficial to encourage TV coverage: Accordingly we did not receive a fee or income for the filming of Dr Who. 

We do recharge any additional operating costs incurred as a result of any filming and recharged the following costs to the BBC as follows:

08 January 2011 £277.50 recharged (security overtime) 

19 October 2012 £4,897.16 recharged (£1,580.97 security overtime, £2,500.00 
South Wales Police costs) 

Given the publicity and benefits that Dr. Who brings to Wales it seems that this policy of doing all we can to assist filming is paying off.
What benefits do you believe the Doctor Who franchise brings to Wales?

As far as I am aware most of the people working on the series are English or Scottish (low paid mop'n'bucket jobs excepted).

It does nothing to promote Wales as most of the time it pretends to be in England or outer space.

And now you reveal that taxpayers are subsidizing the series by allowing them to use public buildings for a pittance. Would someone making an actual Welsh program get such support?

So I ask again, can you please list these benefits that you claim the series brings to Wales?
Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner are both Welsh. I know they have moved away from Who now but I would imagine that most production staff live in Wales
@Ian Ridley,

Many of the production staff now live in Wales (or at lest have one home here), probably paid for with the relocation allowance they got when they started the job. They will no doubt return home should they get a better offer.
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