This is the first-look at how a new digital media centre could look as part of a huge regeneration of former railway sidings in Cardiff Bay.
Developers Igloo Regeneration have submitted plans for a 40,000 square-foot centre which would be home to Cardiff’s growing creative industries sector.
The Porth Teigr scheme will also include a BBC Drama Village as 38 acres of the area known as Roath Basin are transformed.
Mark Hallett, development director, said: “It’s really good for Cardiff to have these kinds of developments which bring creative companies into the capital.
“To be seen as a successful and growing city, it needs to be attracting these types of businesses.”
Mr Hallett said over 400 companies had contacted him about taking space in the new centre, which will have the capacity for 120 employees.
He said: “We’ve had animators, web designers and even a travel agent specialising in booking travel for films and drama productions.”
Mr Hallett said the timber elements of the design were sympathetic to the history of the area, which used to be home to hundreds of railway sidings.
The development will be built using grey-coloured brick and designed to represent a 19th century dockside industrial building.
The scheme is a partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government with Igloo agreeing a 25-year lease with WAG at £2.1m a year last year.
Ieuan Wyn Jones, deputy first minister and minister for the economy and transport, said the intention is to create a dynamic media hub and a new core for a cluster of independent production companies in Wales – businesses that are providing highly skilled jobs.
He said: “The Creative Industries is a key sector in the Welsh economy and highlighted in our economic renewal programme as having great growth potential. The BBC’s Roath Lock studios will become a focal point for the creative industries in Wales and we intend to build on this impetus.
“The new digital media centre will, subject to planning permission, complement that development and provide accommodation for dynamic young businesses in the sector as well as supply chain companies enabling them to maximise new opportunities.”
Attracting businesses in the creative industries sector is key to Cardiff’s economic growth, according to Cardiff council’s deputy leader Neil McEvoy.
He said: “Creative industries are an essential part of Cardiff’s economy. The Port Teigr development is a key means of supporting the ambitions and creativity of local businesses.
“Creative industries is a fast growing sector of the Welsh economy, and over the next few years Cardiff is going to be at the centre of a dynamic creative industries hub that will play a vital role in the future regeneration of the city and surrounding areas.”
If planning permission is granted Igloo expect work to start on the site in September and it to be ready and open in September 2012. It is expected to create around 300 full-time jobs during the building process.
How important Cardiff’s creative industries are to the city
It’s thought in 2005 over 6,750 people in Cardiff were employed in the creative industries sector, and between 1991 and 2005 the number of people employed in the sector went up by 53.7%.
The creative industries sector include television, digital media and websites.
Cardiff Business School has ranked the city as 9th out of 20 UK cities in terms of the proportion of the local economy contributed to by the creative sector.
Cardiff is seen as an “emerging creativity centre”, according to a report released at Cardiff council’s economic scrutiny committee last month.
This is due to the concentration of academic excellence, the presence of large employers like the BBC and the vibrancy of creative businesses in general.
Do you live in the area? Do you work in the creative industries? Let us know your views on the development in the comments below