BBC Roath Lock Studios in Cardiff Bay has celebrated five years of production.

The 175,000 square foot facility – which has nine studios, three external filming lots and post-production facilities - is the home to Doctor Who, Casualty and the BBC’s longest-running TV soap opera Pobol y Cwm, produced by the BBC for S4C. 

More than 850 hours of TV produced at Roath Lock has been broadcast since the centre opened its doors.

Since opening its doors, Roath Lock has initiated 52 apprentices at the site in roles such as production, costume, editing, post production and rigging and 75% of those apprentices are now working in the creative industries.

Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director of BBC Cymru Wales, said: "The teams at Roath Lock have been inspirational. They have storytelling in their souls and they have made their mark locally and globally.

“Roath Lock is also playing such an important role developing a new generation of creative talents for the future. The BBC's award-winning apprenticeship scheme at Roath Lock is helping to develop the craft and production skills that will be essential to secure the long-term future of the sector in Wales.

"Over five years, Roath Lock has established itself as one of the most exciting production centres anywhere in the UK. But this is no time to be resting on our laurels. Roath Lock was only created because we dared to think big. That spirit of bold creativity and invention is essential if we're to continue to build on the centre's many successes over the coming years."

Facts and figures

  • Roath Lock is equivalent in size to three football pitches. 
  • When all three productions (Pobol y Cwm, Casualty and Doctor Who) are filming, there are approximately 500 people working there.
  • The building was made to have as little environmental impact as possible so all lavatories are flushed using rainwater.
  • There are approximately 15,500 prop items in Roath Lock. 

  • Doctor Who’s studio in Roath Lock is 11,500 square foot. It has housed the UK’s biggest green screen. 
  • Doctor Who production moved to Roath Lock in early 2012, but 9 of the 13 official Doctors have filmed at the production centre: Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, David Tennant, Matt Smith, John Hurt and Peter Capaldi. 
  • A corridor connecting several Doctor Who studios at Roath Lock has been affectionately named Russell’s Alley, after Russell T Davies who brought Doctor Who back in 2005. 
  • Casualty uses between 15 to 20 types of fake blood, from various suppliers. All blood has been camera tested so that they are the right colour red, from arterial, scab, venous, clotted, dried etc…. Most are edible as they’re made from sugar. 
  • The only red which is seen and used on Casualty is the blood and the red emergency phone in reception. 

  • 250 episodes of Pobol y Cwm are filmed every year (as opposed to 30 episodes in the 1970s and 1980s). 
  • Pobol y Cwm films approximately 16-18 scenes per day in studio, which is about 20 minutes of action and equivalent to approximately 80 pages of script per day - much higher than any other UK soap.