Culverhouse Cross HTV Studios on the outskirts of Cardiff, Wales became operational during the summer of 1984 following 2 years of construction. The first transmission from the new facility was at the end of July 1984 and the total construction cost of the new building was £15 million. The entire construction process was filmed by HTV during each phase and at one point a time capsule was buried at the site but no one remembered in the end where it had been buried!
The foundation stone had been laid by Lord Harlech, who was Chairman of HTV, on November 8th 1982.
HTV (Harlech TV) Cymru Wales was originally based in Pontcanna, Cardiff, and moved to Culverhouse Cross on the outskirts of the city in 1984. In 2014, and now part of ITV since their buy-out in 2004, they moved to a new state-of-the-art building in Cardiff Bay where they said its presence in Wales would be strengthened.
On 9 April 1985 Charles and Diana visited the centre and unveiled a commemorative plaque.
They arrived via helicopter on The Queen’s Flight and landed at the helipad on site at Culverhouse Cross Studios.
They were ushered in the front door and met by managing director, Huw Davies, other HTV executives and visitors. One eager little boy thrust a bouquet of roses in Diana’s hand immediately as she walked toward the crowd inside.
Mr. Davies gave them a tour of the facilities and showed them the TV studios during a break in filming of a game show. They visited the actual set and met the gameshow hosts, producers, crew and contestants.
The official opening of the studios was celebrated with an opening night programme called “Success.” It was a variety type programme with Welsh-American crooner Jack Jones topping the line-up of stars.
The special program was broadcast featuring music, dance and live satellite linkups with Paris, San Francisco and Toyko. Arfon Haines Davies, Elinor Jones and Alan Rustad were the hosts for the evening.
Elinor Jones, above.
The all glass curtain wall in the front of the building housed the transmission area and was added to the front of Culverhouse Cross around 1988. The new transmission area coincided with the launch of the new Night Club broadcast. This entire upgrade cost an extra £3 million.
At the time Culverhouse Cross was one of the most modern TV studio complexes in Europe and was a showpiece in the area.
In 2014, the former HTV Studios at Culverhouse Cross were demolished to make way for a housing development.
A model home, above, for the new housing development at Culverhouse Cross. The developers, Bellway Homes Wales and West Ltd. were given approval earlier in the year to build 243 such homes on the site.
The plan sparked controversy with opponents saying that the Culverhouse Studios site should continue as an important hub for media and associated companies. There were fears the project could lead to more than 400 job losses in the Vale and rob the area of a “vibrant media centre”. But, Vale council planners recommended approval of the scheme saying that the new homes would be a “significant benefit” in providing much needed private and affordable housing in the area.
On 14th February 2014 ITV Cymru Wales took possession of its new, state of the art offices at 3 Assembly Square in Cardiff Bay, accommodating 100 staff and covering 1,050 square metres. The new facility includes a news studio, production & sound galleries and editing suites, as well as voice-over & dubbing suites.
Insiders say that William has a special affection for Wales. He made his first public engagement at the side of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff on St David’s Day on March 1, 1991. With his mother and father he attended a service at the Cathedral and then went with Princess Diana to attend a ceremony at St. David’s Hall in the Welsh capital. The Princess later gave a short speech extolling the greatness of Cardiff and Wales. Prince William, though shy and somewhat overwhelmed, did well, and charmed the crowds with his impeccable manners and poise. It was his first step as a public royal.