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US TV production being shot in Wales

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Will 104: 26058_005FILMING  is underway at Dragon Studios, Pencoed, on the biggest budget US TV production ever to be shot in Wales.

The show is called Will, a high end drama series based on the early life of William Shakespeare, and is to be filmed in Wales for broadcast in the US and will have the largest budget and highest spend of any production shot in Wales to date.

It is the latest US production to be brought to Wales and follows other high profile productions such as Da Vinci’s Demons, The Bastard Executioner and The Collection.

Backed by finance from the Welsh Government it is anticipated that the production will generate £18m spend into the local economy.

The first series of nine episodes has been commissioned following the success of an initial pilot programme that was filmed in London.

Support from the Welsh Government means that a significant proportion of filming and production will be undertaken in Wales.

Welcoming the news Economy Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates described it as a great ‘win’ and a huge boost for the creative industries sector in Wales.

He said: “This really does tick all the boxes. It has the highest budget of any production filmed in Wales to date and the largest local spend ever attracted to Wales which is great news for the Welsh film and TV sector.

“It supports our sector strategy to attract high end drama to Wales with a specific focus on the lucrative US market and with the probability of repeat series. I am delighted that Welsh Government support has secured this investment for Wales.

“It gives us a platform, not just in the US, but globally to promote Wales as a great location for filming which is backed by real expertise and talent. It will provide a great opportunity for Welsh companies and freelancers while helping to expand the supply chain and increasing and up-skilling the crew base in Wales.”

Ninth Floor UK Productions Limited – the company behind the series – will be based at Dragon Studio Pencoed for nine months of the year with location shooting in and around South Wales as well as London.

Will opens with a young William Shakespeare (Davidson) just arriving onto the punk-rock theatre scene in 16th century London. It is in this seductive, violent world that his raw talent faces rioting audiences, religious fanatics and raucous sideshows. This is the exciting, dangerous and contemporary version of Shakespeare’s life, played to a modern soundtrack that exposes all his recklessness, lustful temptations and brilliance.

Executive Producer Alison Owen says: “Filming at Dragon International Film Studios  has provided many advantages for the production – using Dragon’s four stages and its extensive backlot, we have been able to create a whole world in one place.

“The streets of Shakespeare’s London spread out on the backlot, whilst the huge Theatre takes up one whole stage, additional interior sets complete the show’s universe. Other breath-taking exterior locations are a stone’s throw away, giving scope and breadth to the show’s visual landscape.

“The close proximity of so many locations has given us an ease and efficiency enabling us to be ambitious with our show, giving us terrific ‘bang for our buck’ and putting the budget on the screen. With access to the experienced Welsh crew based in the area, in Cardiff and Swansea, while only a couple of hours from London on the train, it has been the perfect choice for us.”

The production is working closely with Wales Screen to ensure local talent is used as much as possible. If Will proves to be a global commercial success it is hoped future series will be based in Wales.

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Police launch public appeal following Carmarthenshire burglary

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a burglary at a property in Ponthenry.

People broke into a shed at a home in Victoria Road at around 8.30pm on Monday, 31 October, before leaving after spotting a CCTV camera.

They returned at around 10.15pm and again at around 10.55pm.

During their raids they tooka green Wolf motocross helmet with a full face with a peak and line green motocross goggles.

Officers are appealing for help to identify two people they would like to speak to over the incident.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DPP/0756/01/11/2022/02/C. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Morrisons Foundation supports children’s charity with grant for vital equipment

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The Morrisons Foundation supports registered charities that make a positive difference. They recently awarded national children’s disability charity, Cerebra, based in Carmarthen, a grant of £11,109.

This will fund the creation of writing slopes through the Cerebra Innovation Centre, which is partnered with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and designs wonderful toys and equipment to help children living with a brain condition to learn and play.

The writing slopes are designed to help children who struggle with posture and fine motor skills. They also aid children with writing, drawing and hand control. Ross Head, Product Design Manager at the Cerebra Innovation Centre explains;

‘The slopes include a lovely wipe-clean surface for children to experiment with mark making, their own set of pens and a clever lid-free pen store to remove the challenge of removing lids for some children. We are so lucky to be able to do what we do and funding like this is so important to allow us to push boundaries and provide vital equipment that looks beautiful.’

At the start of 2022, the Cerebra Innovation Centre highlighted that they anticipated the need for an additional 20 writing slopes for children. Cerebra Fundraising Manager, James Hay then worked with the grants team at the Morrisons Foundation, who were delighted to support this project. David Scott, Morrisons Foundation Trustee said:

‘Cerebra is dedicated to helping families who have a child with a brain condition to discover a better life together, that’s why I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide this support. The specialised writing slopes will make a huge positive impact on children with sensory and mobility issues, providing a great opportunity to develop their skills, which will last a lifetime.’

Grants like this are a vital source of funding for Cerebra so that they are able to continue to support children living with a brain condition and their families who face challenges every day. The Cerebra Innovation Centre is one of the many support services provided by the charity that so many families have come to rely on. James Hay adds;

‘Thank you so much to the Morrisons Foundation for this generous grant! We are over the moon as we know how much this project will change young lives. These are particularly challenging times for charities and so this funding from Morrisons for the creation of 20 writing slopes is warmly welcomed.’

You can find out more about Cerebra and how they help children and families by visiting www.cerebra.org.uk 

Writing Slope
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White Ribbon campaign supported by Carmarthenshire County Council

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL says it is again showing its support for the White Ribbon campaign, which takes place on Friday, November 25 and is followed by 16 Days of Action.

White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls.

While domestic abuse affects both sexes, the largest number of violent incidents involve men against women. But ultimately male violence against women is everyone’s issue, not just women’s.

The council was awarded White Ribbon UK accredited status for the first time in 2018 and is continuing to work to tackle such violence.

White Ribbon flags will be flying at County Hall in Carmarthen and town halls in Llanelli and Ammanford on White Ribbon Day (Friday, November 25). County Hall will also be lit up on the evening to show support.

The council is working alongside partners to raise awareness of the campaign across the county – from sports clubs, joint visits with the Police to licensed premises, our leisure centres and libraries to bus stations.

With this year’s White Ribbon Day falling on the same week as the start of the FIFA men’s World Cup, there has never been a better time to come together and start playing as a team to end violence against women and girls.

The council will be raising awareness of the campaign at special events including a Walking Football session at Amman Valley Leisure Centre on November 30 and at “An Evening with Sam Warburton” at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen on White Ribbon Day (November 25).

Cabinet Member responsible for Community Safety, Cllr Philip Hughes, said: “It’s vital that we raise more awareness about domestic abuse so that anyone affected can get help and support from one of our local services.”

Support locally can be found at: Threshold (Llanelli) on 01554 752 422 or www.threshold-das.org.uk; Calan DVS (Ammanford) on 01269 597 474 or www.calandvs.org.uk; Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service on 01267 238 410 or www.carmdas.org and Goleudy on 0300 123 2996 or www.goleudyvictimandwitnessservice.org.uk or call the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 or visit https://gov.wales/live-fear-free for free advice and support 24/7

For more information on the White Ribbon campaign visit www.whiteribbon.org.uk

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