Estimated reading time: 2 Minutes
29 April 2019
On Wednesday (1 May), the National Assembly for Wales will debate the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on the Welsh Government’s relationship with Pinewood (PDF 571KB).
The PAC’s scrutiny follows an Auditor General for Wales report published in June 2018, which outlined the Welsh Government’s £9.4 million purchase and redevelopment of a property in Cardiff into a new TV and film studio. The report provided details associated with the Welsh Government and Pinewood’s “Collaboration Agreement”, which aimed to promote TV and film production in Wales, and included:
- leasing the studio to Pinewood (over 15 years);
- creating a £30 million Media Investment Budget to support TV and film production in Wales over 5 years; and
- ‘sponsoring’ Pinewood to promote both the studio (an annual cost of £525,600 over the five-year term).
It also set out the facts leading to the termination of that agreement, together with details of the successor Management Services Agreement, which commenced in November 2017.
The Assembly’s Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee considered the Auditor General’s report in summer 2018, during its inquiry into Film and major television production in Wales, the evidence to that Committee is available to view on the Committee’s inquiry page.
The Chair of the PAC noted the Committee’s surprise at the lack of clarity in the Welsh Government’s contract with Pinewood and also that the Welsh Government had ‘failed’ to commission a structural survey on the site that was purchased. In his foreword to the PAC report, the Chair goes on to say:
There was also the inaccurate, incomplete and poor quality advice provided to Welsh Ministers on a number of occasions, highlighting again the importance and need for timely, accurate and high quality official advice to Ministers, so crucial to supporting sound and properly-informed Ministerial decision-making.
The report reserves judgement as to whether the deal with Pinewood represented Value for Money. It makes nine recommendations, which you can read here (PDF 571KB).
The debate on the report is scheduled for 15:25 (timing approximate) on 1 May, you can watch it live on SeneddTV.
Article by Owen Holzinger, Senedd Research, National Assembly for Wales