Aria Film Studios opens for business on Anglesey
Aria Film Studios, a shiny new filming facility on the island of Anglesey in North Wales, has officially opened its doors today (26 January), with a visit from Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford to mark the occasion.
Aria Film Studios was established by Rondo Media and S4C’s commercial arm S4C Digital Media Limited, with the support of the Welsh Government through Creative Wales.
It comprises 20,000 sq ft in total, with two fully soundproofed stages of 9,500 sq ft and 6,500 sq ft – the first two-stage facility in the region.
The team behind Aria Film Studios is committed to raising North Wales’ profile as a film-friendly destination for both domestic and international productions, and there will also be a range of training and development schemes for local talent in the region.
It is establishing the Aria Training Academy, working with key partners including Bangor University, the University of South Wales Screen Alliance Wales as well as other training providers. The partnerships will create the infrastructure and access to apprenticeships and training to develop the skills of those looking to break into the industry, as well as house existing talent in the region. In addition to growing Wales’s production potential, Aria will employ and train a local workforce through accessible and sustainable job opportunities.
Situated close to the Snowdonia National Park, the studio offers some stunning natural filming backdrops right on its doorstep including slate quarries, copper mines and dramatic coastlines. From an environmental standpoint, the studio will deliver sustainable productions and minimise its carbon footprint.
By forging close relationships with local suppliers, it will offer sustainable opportunities for other ancillary sectors, including catering, accommodation providers and waste management. Local film and TV crews will be available in order to minimise travel expenses and carbon emissions.
Visiting the studios today (26 January), Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, said “Many producers already know what our country has to offer and this kind of top tier development will grab the attention of more high-profile productions and help to position the region as a hub for talent, training and access to the creative industry.
“Rondo and S4C have shown their support in Wales’ talent and potential. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support this development, which is a great opportunity to grow the Welsh industry and its footprint in the global entertainment business.”
Rondo Media's chief executive, Gareth Williams, added: “This launch is significant for our TV and film industry here in Wales. We’re thankful for the support from S4C's commercial arm, Cymru Greadigol, and Wales Screen for helping us bring this vision to life, which we know will offer brilliant new opportunities and investment to the region.
“North Wales has such a unique offering, from its breath-taking landscapes to its creative production talent, and we’re looking forward to further investment in the region and working with inspiring partners to enable the production of exceptional content for a worldwide audience.”
S4C chief executive Siân Doyle remarked: "Creating opportunities to nurture talent in the creative sector across the whole of Wales is a key priority for S4C and we are delighted to support Aria Studios.
"To have a great resource like this at the home of Rownd a Rownd - one of S4C's biggest productions - is something really exciting for us. I see the Aria Studios initiative as an opportunity to nurture local talent and build on S4C's presence in North Wales as well as attracting more high profile productions to Anglesey. I look forward to a very exciting future working with Aria Studios."
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