Cardiff Council Lost £1.1 Million on Doctor Who Experience Closure

The closure of the Doctor Who Experience cost Cardiff Council more than £1.1m.

The departure of BBC Worldwide from the Cardiff Bay area last September meant that a £1.147m was left outstanding on a loan because revenue targets were not met by the attraction.

This amount will now have to be met by taxpayers.

According to Wales Online, Cardiff council funded a loan to BBC Worldwide from the Welsh Government’s Invest to Save Fund, an initiative that provides financial support to public service organisations across Wales. The Doctor Who Experience was on land owned by the Welsh government which Cardiff council leased to BBC Worldwide for an agreed five years.

The Council had planned to pay the money back using funds generated from ticket sales but the hole in the funds suggests that the council may have overestimated the amount of money the exhibition would bring in over five years.

Now, the council must repay the Welsh Government loan and will now have to resort to borrowing more money to close the gap.

Adrian Robson, councillor for Rhiwbina and leader of the Conservative opposition said:

“I still don’t know how we managed to lose over a million pounds on Dr Who.”

A Cardiff Council spokesman said:

“The council subsidised the Doctor Who Experience – but this was no longer sustainable as the Doctor Who Experience, which was operated by BBC Worldwide, didn’t meet the financial targets that BBC Worldwide set out in their business model. Any further information on the money they generated, their business model or the success of the Experience would have to be asked to BBC Worldwide.”

Council plans for the former exhibition site remain vague.

A spokesman for BBC Worldwide confirmed that there are no current plans for the Doctor Who exhibition to be relocated elsewhere in the UK.