Doctor Who News The TARDIS, pictured in Cardiff

Published on February 13th, 2013 | by Andrew Reynolds

Cardiff Introduces Doctor Who Filming Fee

Filming crews for Doctor Who, Casualty and Sherlock will have to pay £100-£200 per day to film on the streets of Cardiff thanks to a new filming unit set up by the local authority.

The TARDIS, pictured in Cardiff

The newly formed unit (shouldn’t that be UNIT?) will become the first port of call for producers needing to access public buildings and help arranging temporary road closures..

Councillor Russell Goodway said that the unit would benefit both film makers and residents:

The council also recognises that it has a duty of care to its residents and that Cardiff citizens should benefit from any filming in their area whilst disruption is kept to a minimum.

The council said the fee for a filming permit is in line with other councils in the UK and that the BBC and independent companies were “instrumental” in helping to set the rates.

Ieuan Morris, reader in film at the University of Glamorgan’s Cardiff school of Creative and Cultural Industries, told the BBC:

I think capital cities around the UK all have film units now and they are good as they make it much easier for a production to deal with one agency in a city to secure permission to film in streets and buildings.

Wales certainly has a growing creative industries sector. I think Cardiff and the south Wales region offers such a variety of different locations. You have city, mountains and sea all within about an hour’s drive.

What do you think? Could this have a positive or a negative impact on Cardiff’s success in the BBC’s drama.


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

7 Responses to Cardiff Introduces Doctor Who Filming Fee

  1. avatar at0micandy says:

    sounds to me like cynical jumping in to make money by the council just because something as been successful. Do they not realise people now travel to cardiff just to see the places that things were recorded at. I know I went to specifically see the torchwood locations and for no other reason. If I were the BC film units I would consider recording elsewhere, like Newport :-)

  2. avatar Alex says:

    It’s just pocket change. If it were thousands of pounds per day, that’s a different story. But 100-200? I don’t see that being a problem. Doctor Who does the vast majority of its filming in-studio (and will probably be even more so now to help justify the expense of the new facility), so it’s not as if this will break the bank.

  3. avatar dwsherlockfan says:

    Even if Doctor Who, Sherlock and Casualty only spend 6 months filming in Cardiff, that’s almost £37,000! Hardly pocket change, that’s a big expense that didn’t exist before. Someone could get laid off over that if it cuts too much into a budget. And for what, to make a council more money off shows that probably draw more than that in tourism. Also troubled by the disruption kept to a minimum bit. No gov, even a council, should disrupt or try to influence the arts.

  4. avatar daniel says:

    To be fair, all councils are facing cuts. Its fair the Beeb pays its way.

  5. avatar Philip Bates says:

    I can sort of see both sides. Yes, it’s an inconvenience to some Cardiff citizens, but considering the amount of tourism Doctor Who in particular (but also Sherlock, and perhaps Casualty to some extent) brings in, it seems a bit unappreciative. The local shops and restaurants certainly benefit from having BBC Wales in the Bay – as well as, of course, the Doctor Who Experience!

    Also, I can’t see that the incovenience of shut streets is going to be made better by Cardiff Council charging. Firstly, the Welsh always seem a nice, welcoming bunch, who appreciate how the city’s been rejuvenated by DW being there. And secondly, isn’t this just the Council trying to get more money, money, money, and using whatever reason to obtain it…?

  6. avatar TonyS says:

    The Council, like all others, is having to balance its books while keeping any Council Tax charges and cuts in services to a minimum. Just imagine how welcoming the residents would be if the press were to imply that filming of Doctor Who was costing them through Council Tax or lost revenue. I am NOT saying that this is happening. I am asking you to imagine what the local reaction would be, if that situation were to arise. The BBC has the option of filming elsewhere if they don’t like the charges. And, as other commentators have said, it’s not a large amount to pay.

    • I think a lot of people are aware that councils have invested their money poorly and pay their chief executives ridiculous sums of money.

      This isn’t an argument I’m offering, just something else to think about…

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