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Via .@welshconserv

The Welsh Assembly’s Culture Committee today heard that the Labour Welsh Government failed to acquire a full building survey before purchasing a warehouse to host Pinewood Studio Wales.

In an evidence session to the committee, civil servant Mick McGuire said a valuation survey of the site found the roof did not have “any major defect”.

However, the Welsh Government then had to spend £1m repairing and improving the roof.

Mr McGuire said before the purchase it had “a valuation” of the warehouse but “not a building survey”.

In the committee, Welsh Conservative Assembly Member Suzy Davies asked: “Are you actually saying you bought a building on the basis of a valuation survey, without having a full building survey done?�

Mr McGuire replied: “Yes.â€�

This follows the recent news that ministers have been paying the international film studios group to keep the site open, since 2017.

Commenting outside the committee rooms, Shadow Culture Secretary Mrs Davies, said:

“As a former property lawyer myself, I was pretty surprised to hear this evidence – when buying such an expensive property, I’d have expected a building survey to be conducted, and a schedule of works added.

“The people of Wales expect the money paid into the public purse to be spent not just wisely but transparently.  It’s the Assembly’s job to make rigorous enquiries on how it is spent.

“The drip-drip revelations that keep coming from this farce exposes a pattern in Welsh Government which shows it is not an isolated blip.

“Committees have already seen major failings with decision-making when it came to the Circuit of Wales, Kancoat, RIFW, AWEMA, and, now, Pinewood.  No-one is saying Pinewood has not contributed to Wales but we’re now seeing that their partnership Welsh Government is littered with expensive errors, miscalculations, poor performance and an unguarded attitude to risk.

“The faults here must not go without acknowledgment, and those responsible are being held to account.�