Roath Lock Drama Studios and the Creative Industries in Wales


This project examines the BBC’s new drama studios in relation to its broader policy and production developments. These include the BBC’s own 'nations and regions’ policy to produce more network programmes outside London. The project considers the rationale behind the establishment of the studios and what they mean for Wales and its creative industries.

Duration: April 2013 – Present
Funding: USW Research Investment Scheme
Research team: Steve Blandford (Principal Investigator), Caitriona Noonan and Ruth McElroy

BBC Cymru Wales drama studios at Roath Lock
For further information about the project, please contact Dr Caitriona Noonan ( and Dr Ruth McElroy (

Research context:

Opened in March 2012, the BBC’s Roath Lock Drama Studios at Cardiff Bay produce some of Britain’s best know television dramas, including Dr Who, Casualty and Upstairs Downstairs, as well as the Welsh language soap Pobol-y-Cwm. Built following the BBC’s decision in 2008 to produce more shows outside London, the new facility represents a major commitment to drama production in Wales. It also provides the centrepiece for the new Porth Teigr development, a major urban regeneration project led by the Welsh Government.

Research question:

This project aims to provide the first major study of the Roath Lock Studios as a landmark development for the creative industries in Wales and the UK. Our key research questions is: What is the rationale behind the development of the BBC’s Roath Lock Studios, and what does this new facility mean for Wales and its creative industries?

Research methods:

The research involves in-depth interviews with television production staff and other stakeholders connected with the Roath Lock Drama Studios. It also involves the analysis of press reports, policy documents and other grey literature on the creative industries in Wales.


The project will address issues of media policy, representation and production. Anticipated outcomes include journal articles for the peer-reviewed press, conference papers and an end-of-project seminar with key stakeholders.

Conference Papers:

  • Nations and Regions Policy and Production: what is the point? Paper presented in panel Producing TV Drama in Small Nations: negotiating place and policy. New Directions in Film and Television Production Studies, Watershed Cultural Cinema and Digital Creativity Centre, Bristol, April 2015.
  • Television Comes to Town: the value of BBC’s Roath Lock drama studios. Paper presented: Media and Place conference. Leeds Metropolitan University. June 2014