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The multi-use area will host the BBC drama village, with plans to link this to a new digital centre. The work will cover the last piece of brownfield area, thus completing the inner harbour jigsaw of Cardiff Bay. The development was granted permission in 2008 to become the centre point for creative industries in Wales.
Porth Teigr is a joint venture, formed in 2005, between urban regeneration firm igloo and the Welsh Government. The venture is responsible for developing 38 acres of land on the south side of Roath Basin in Cardiff Bay as an environmentally sustainable mixed use development including commercial, retail and residential space. The developer advertises Porth Teigr as one of the most significant waterfront developments in the UK and will transform the last major derelict site in the Inner Harbour area to create more than 1 million sq. ft. of commercial development space and over 1,000 new homes.
The plans to create a new commercial and residential community at Porth Teigr are already underway. It is anticipated that the redeveloped site will ultimately provide opportunities for some 4,000 jobs. The redevelopment will include some 200,000 sq.ft of leisure and retail space as well as a range of housing, including affordable units, which will be amongst the first in the UK designed to give flexibility of spaces, to enable adaptation for lifestyle changes, developed from the experience of the best designers across Europe. Two dry docks will be flooded to help give the site more than 1.6 miles of uninterrupted waterfront, much of which looks across Cardiff Bay towards the Wales Millennium Centre and the Senedd debating chamber.
The centrepiece of the development is the new 170,000 sq foot drama production studio complex for the BBC at Roath Lock. Extensive infrastructure and public realm works including a new bridge linking the site to the remainder of the inner harbour are nearing completion and will enable access to the new BBC Roath Lock Studios. The studios were officially opened on 12 March 2012 and will be the home to several productions, including Doctor Who, Casualty, Pobol y Cwm and Upstairs Downstairs. Casualty started filming on site in September 2011.
The Welsh Assembly Government and igloo are also in the process of creating a new Digital Media Centre (DMC) at Porth Teigr. Plans have already been submitted for the new 40,000 sq ft Digital Media Centre to provide opportunities for small, high growth businesses and freelancers and provide affordable infrastructure to stimulate and support a cluster of small, high value creative businesses. The DMC is due to commence on site in November 2011 and be ready for occupation towards the end of 2012. The Digital Media Centre aims help support the Creative Industries sector in Wales with the capacity to accommodate 400 people.
Planning permission has been approved for the construction of a 3000 sq metre building in Porth Teigr that will become the long-term home of the Doctor Who Experience when it relocates from London's Olympia to Cardiff in 2012.
BBC Worldwide announced in September 2010 that it intended to relocate the attraction in Cardiff during 2012, the city of its filming and production, following consolidation of its previous Doctor Who exhibitions, including the closure of the former Doctor Who Exhibition in Cardiff's Red Dragon Centre in March 2011.
The name, Porth Teigr, was created to evoke the spirit of Tiger Bay and pay homage to the history of the site and Cardiff's past as the busiest port in the world during the 19th century.
The building was supposed to be served by the baycar service operated by Cardiff Bus, running every 10 minutes to Cardiff Bay and the City Centre, however, due to objections from the BBC, the extension to the service has been cancelled.