Nearly 10,000 Doctor Who fans sign petition to save Cardiff’s Doctor Who Experience

The BBC Worldwide attraction is due to close its doors for good later this year

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Nearly 10,000 fans have signed a petition calling for Cardiff’s Doctor Who Experience to remain open, following news a few months ago that the popular attraction would close its doors in Summer 2017.

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The closure of the interactive props and costume museum is due to the expiration of a five-year lease on the land in Cardiff Bay, which is leased by the Welsh Government to Cardiff council and then sublet by BBC Worldwide.

The deal was always due to run out this summer, but fans are hoping that the petition can show both BBC Worldwide and the council the local desire for such an attraction, even if it’s in a different location.

“I know the land was only leased for five years but surely anyone can see that… to knock this on the head, when we have got Doctor Who being filmed here and the studios here, seems like a really stupid thing to do,” petition organiser Bex Ferriday said (via WalesOnline).

“I think the way it’s been done suggests they know this was going to cause a great deal of upset . I think the deal has been done, but my message to people who have signed the petition is that we want to have something, a smaller version, somewhere in Cardiff.”

The petition (which has around 9,800 signatures at time of writing) is due to be presented at the Experience at 12pm on Saturday 4th March – though there are of course no guarantees that any of the parties involved will pay much attention to it.

“The Doctor Who Experience has enjoyed a fantastic five-year run in Cardiff Bay but, sadly, our five-year sub-lease from the City of Cardiff Council will come to an end in Summer 2017,” a BBC Worldwide spokesperson told RadioTimes.com when the news was announced last November.

When asked if this meant the props and costumes would be moved to a new location, they added: “We are not sure yet. BBC Worldwide is always looking at new and exciting ways to increase fans’ enjoyment of Doctor Who.”

However, they did hint that plans to display the costumes and props elsewhere were afoot, saying “we are exploring ways in which we can use the artefacts in possible new events.”

A spokesman for Cardiff council said: “The land currently occupied by the Doctor Who Experience is owned by the Welsh Government and their development partner, Igloo Regeneration.

“It was leased to the city council for five years to enable the relocation of the Doctor Who Experience from Olympia to Cardiff on a temporary basis.”

“It has always been the intention for the site to be developed as part of the ongoing Porth Teigr regeneration project. The agreement was always intended to be for five years only, reflecting the nature of the attraction.

“The decision to close the Experience at the end of the lease next summer has been mutually agreed by all parties involved, including the operators BBC Worldwide.”

Originally opening in London in 2011, the exhibition moved to the purpose-built construction in Cardiff in 2012, and featured an interactive adventure segment starring Matt Smith as well as a large array of props, sets and costumes from the series.

In 2014, it was revamped featuring a new story that starred Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor and included other new exhibits. You can read our review of that revamp here.

Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Saturday 15th April 

Nearly 10,000 fans have signed a petition calling for Cardiff’s Doctor Who Experience to remain open, following news a few months ago that the popular attraction would shut its doors in summer 2017.

The closure of the interactive props and costume museum is due to the expiration of a five-year lease on the land in Cardiff Bay, which is leased by the Welsh Government to Cardiff council and then sublet by BBC Worldwide.

The deal was always due to run out this summer, but fans are hoping that the petition can show both BBC Worldwide and the council the local desire for such an attraction, even if it’s in a different location.

“I know the land was only leased for five years but surely anyone can see that… to knock this on the head, when we have got Doctor Who being filmed here and the studios here, seems like a really stupid thing to do,” petition organiser Bex Ferriday said (via WalesOnline).

“I think the way it’s been done suggests they know this was going to cause a great deal of upset . I think the deal has been done, but my message to people who have signed the petition is that we want to have something, a smaller version, somewhere in Cardiff.”

The petition (which has 9,800 signatures at the time of writing) is due to be presented at the Experience at 12pm on Saturday 4th March – though there are of course no guarantees that any of the parties involved will change their minds upon receiving it.

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Photos from the opening of the revamped Doctor Who Experience in 2014

“The Doctor Who Experience has enjoyed a fantastic five-year run in Cardiff Bay but, sadly, our five-year sub-lease from the City of Cardiff Council will come to an end in Summer 2017,” a BBC Worldwide spokesperson told RadioTimes.com when the news was announced last November.

When asked if this meant the props and costumes would be moved to a new location, they added: “We are not sure yet. BBC Worldwide is always looking at new and exciting ways to increase fans’ enjoyment of Doctor Who.”

However, they did hint that plans to display the costumes and props elsewhere were afoot, saying “we are exploring ways in which we can use the artefacts in possible new events.”

A spokesman for Cardiff council said: “The land currently occupied by the Doctor Who Experience is owned by the Welsh Government and their development partner, Igloo Regeneration.

“It was leased to the city council for five years to enable the relocation of the Doctor Who Experience from Olympia to Cardiff on a temporary basis.”

“It has always been the intention for the site to be developed as part of the ongoing Porth Teigr regeneration project. The agreement was always intended to be for five years only, reflecting the nature of the attraction.

“The decision to close the Experience at the end of the lease next summer has been mutually agreed by all parties involved, including the operators BBC Worldwide.”

Originally opening in London in 2011, the exhibition moved to the purpose-built construction in Cardiff in 2012, and featured an interactive adventure segment starring Matt Smith as well as a large array of props, sets and costumes from the series.

In 2014, it was revamped featuring a new story that starred Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor and included other new exhibits. You can read our review of that revamp here.

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Doctor Who returns to BBC1 on Saturday 15th April