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Via .@welshconserv

A Wales Audit Office report has confirmed that Pinewood Studio is now costing Welsh taxpayers almost £400,000 a year to keep open.

Pinewood’s 15-year lease for a studio in Cardiff was scrapped last year.

Having foot the £9.5 million bill for the site’s acquisition and refit, the Welsh Government is now covering the costs for the loss-making operation.

The report, published today, puts the annual cost at around £390,000 – not withstanding an additional fee being paid to Pinewood for its ‘management’.

Welsh Conservatives say the project had promise, but that successive Ministers had turned the “golden goose� into yet another “turkey�.

Shadow Culture Secretary, Suzy Davies, said:

“I’ve been asking questions about this arrangement since Edwina Hart was still Minister. 

“The promise was hundreds of jobs and millions of pounds to the Welsh economy. 

“Instead, we now have suspicions confirmed by the auditor – that Pinewood couldn’t find the films, couldn’t fill the studios, created no sustainable jobs and that there was no safeguard within its agreement with Welsh government preventing conflict of interest.

“The government’s own officials admit that the financial projections don’t represent good value for money yet at the same time, they were happy to invest millions of pounds in a rival studio.

“No wonder successive minister have been so tight-lipped about this over the years.  They’ve turned a golden goose into another one of their turkeysâ€�