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BBC to build drama village in Wales

The BBC has outlined plans to create a new “drama village” which will house Doctor Who and Casualty, two of its most popular shows.

BBC Wales aims to kick off construction on its new drama production centre in Cardiff Bay within the coming months, subject to planning consent.

It said the new centre would be at the heart of a growing stable of network drama produced in Wales, which already boasts Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood among its productions.

Hospital drama Casualty, which has been produced in Bristol for more than 20 years, would start production in Wales from summer 2011.

The move has faced opposition in Bristol but the BBC has said that the city would remain a “centre of excellence” for natural history and factual programming.

Menna Richards, director of BBC Wales, confirmed that a site at Roath Basin in Cardiff Bay has been identified for the new base which will consolidate a range of BBC dramas, including the BBC’s longest-running television soap Pobol y Cwm.

She said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to build on the success of BBC Wales drama production and the wider creative industries in Wales.

“We look forward to welcoming the cast and crew of the enormously successful Casualty to this new centre of excellence to work side by side with the other award-winning dramas which are already made in Wales.”

The plan is part of the BBC’s strategy to double television network production from Wales by 2016.