Welsh Assembly refuses Bond’s request to shoot in Senedd debating chamber

National Assembly of Wales says the debating chamber 'is not a drama studio'

The producers of new Bond film Spectre wanted to shoot scenes in the Senedd debating chamber in Cardiff Bay, but were refused access by the National Assembly, it has emerged.

According to WalesOnline, the request to film inside the debating chamber or Siambr was turned down by the National Assembly of Wales late last year (2014).

The Assembly said in a statement: “The Senedd’s Siambr is the home of Welsh democracy and seat of government for Wales. Some media activity is allowed in the Siambr when it relates to the work of the assembly or reflects the Siambr’s status as the focal point of Welsh civic life.

“It is not a drama studio,” the statement continued. “Decisions on requests from the creative industries to use the assembly’s estate are made on a case by case basis, and we are proud to have collaborated with many television and film companies on drama productions such as Sherlock and Dr Who.

“The request by James Bond to use the Siambr was turned down and they were offered alternative locations on the estate which they subsequently declined.”

Director Sam Mendes started shooting Spectre in December shortly after the title and main cast of the 24th Bond film were announced. Joining Daniel Craig’s 007 are double Oscar winner Christoph Waltz in an unspecified role, former Sherlock star Andrew Scott as a member of MI6 called Denbigh, Blue Is The Warmest Colour‘s Lea Seydoux as a Bond girl named Madeleine Swann, Guardians Of The Galaxy‘s Dave Bautista as a character called Mr Hinx, Italian actress Monica Bellucci as another female lead, Lucia Sciarra, and Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman as a character named Estrella.

In the days leading up to the official announcement, it had been rumoured that Waltz, who won Oscars for his performances in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, would be playing a classic Bond villain, but this has not been confirmed.

Also returning alongside Daniel Craig are his Skyfall castmates Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Ben Whishaw (Q), Rory Kinnear (Bill Tanner) and Ralph Fiennes (M). Last month (February) Craig injured his knee while shooting a fight scene for the film but he has since made a full recovery. Spectre is set for release in cinemas on November 6 this year.