BBC Wales drama village's first phase completed

image captionThe first productions will emerge from the drama village later this year

The first phase of work on BBC Wales' new drama production village in Cardiff Bay is complete.

The centre will be home to dramas Casualty, Pobol y Cwm and Doctor Who, as well as future commissions.

The final section of concrete floor will be laid in a "topping out" ceremony later.

BBC Wales currently produces drama at sites including Llandaff in Cardiff and Upper Boat, near Pontypridd.

Doctor Who is to move from studios near Pontypridd next year, and the first Casualty episode made in Wales will be on screens early in 2012.

Once the studios and offices are fully fitted out, filming will begin for Casualty and Pobol y Cwm this autumn.

Alun Jones, BBC Wales' programme director who is responsible for the new drama centre, said the construction team had made huge progress at the site over the past six months.

"Six months ago there was nothing here except derelict wasteland and since then they've cleared the land, they piled the steelwork and they've completely clad the building," he said.

Mr Jones confirmed that the building was on track for completion in the autumn.

But he added: "There is still an awful lot of work to do.

"The shell is complete but there's a lot of fitting out to do, all the technical equipment has to go into the studios and the post-production offices and we have to build the studio lots as well for the villages of Cwmderi and Holby.

"I know the productions are very excited at what it's going to allow them to do creatively and the viewers will perhaps see areas of Holby and Cwmderi that they've never seen before."

The 170,000 sq ft (15,800 sq m) site is the size of three football pitches.

The completion of the first phase of work will be marked by a ceremony on Thursday.

Those attending include BBC Wales director Menna Richards, Welsh heritage minister Alun Ffred Jones, Cardiff council leader Rodney Berman, and Mark Hallett of site developers igloo Regeneration.

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