Was Aberystwyth Mad to Blow £150,000 Funding a BBC Crime Drama?

By Gary Cutlack on at

BBC Four drama Hinterland was filmed in Aberystwyth, a fact you'd think locals would be proud of. And they probably would, were it not for the other fact that the local council's been cutting funding for other projects and local CCTV services to pay for its filming.

To fund the drama, which will also be shown in Welsh on S4C, Ceredigion county council agreed to guarantee a possible £150,000 payment to the BBC. Objectors claim this amounts to hitting the taxpayer twice; once through the license fee and other subsidies, and again thanks to Ceredigion county council's decision to fund the show's location shooting.

In its defence, the council's produced some figures that claim increased tourism may have added an extra £1m to the town's earnings as a whole -- but taking money from swimming pools, (ironically) reducing CCTV coverage and closing libraries in return for bringing more tourists in doesn't seem like a good trade for those who live there for all 52 weeks of the year.

It's not entirely a done deal, though, with the council only underwriting the sum to guarantee production can continue. An expected grant from the EU may save it from having to pay out altogether. [Metro]