Copyright 2002

[ December 7th 2002 ]

Plans for a new 300 million movie complex backed by Lord Richard Attenborough have been rubber stamped following approval by Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council's development control committee. Dragon International will develop a 350-acre former open cast mine site in Llanilid complete with media centre, screen academy and theme park, according to Sky News. The complex, to be called Dragon International Studios, will also sport the latest facilities for making feature films, television productions and commercials with full editing and post-production facilities.

Lord Attenborough, a founding father of Channel Four Television, said: "Our intention is to build the most modern, cost effective and welcoming studios in the world, designed by practitioners for practitioners. In Wales we have the space, the funds and the technology - but most importantly the will - to create a wonderful work and leisure environment for future generations."

The Welsh government had originally blocked the development because of the need for a new junction on the M4 highway between England and Wales, but officials argued that the problem could be overcome. "The Llanilid film studio is a unique development and I am very pleased we have been able to find a way forward which paves the way for this major investment to become a reality," said First Minister Rhodri Morgan.

Scenes for Paramount Pictures Tomb Raider sequel The Cradle of Life recently filmed at six locations in and around North Wales. More than 150 cast and production crew members shot at Pen-y-Pass, near Snowdonia, and at a disused slate quarry near Carmel. The North Wales Film Commission said economic benefits were brought to the region as a result of Angelina Jolie's sharp-shooting videogame character.

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