Cardiff has already transformed itself over recent years from an industrial city in decline to one with a competitive service sector economy, strong financial services sector and a growing creative cluster.
Investment in the city centre means that despite the recession, visitor numbers have continued to rise with over 18m visitors to the city in 2010, an increase of over 25 per cent on 2009, coinciding with the first full year of operation of the new St David’s Shopping Centre.
Much of our recent regeneration has been based on attracting visitors and developing Cardiff as a destination and we have already seen the massive benefits this investment has reaped. We are now keen to repeat that success in the business sector and recently announced our vision for improving the city’s business infrastructure.
Our ambitious plans for a Central Business District will attract new businesses and high end jobs to Cardiff, benefiting the city and the wider region. The Council and the Welsh Assembly Government have committed to a multi-million pound investment in the CBD, with a further £100m expected to be ploughed in from private sector investment.
Our vision is to establish a high quality property product alongside an integrated transport hub with first class transport links to the region, other key UK cities and in the longer term internationally. We are aiming to create Wales’ most accessible and sustainable business location.
The CBD will become an attractive proposition to financial and business services companies that need proximity to London but don’t necessarily need to have all of their business functions based in such a high cost location. Cardiff offers a skilled workforce, competitive costs and a great quality of life. We also have good universities which financial services companies based in the city are already making the most of and creating high value and very well paid jobs.
The capital’s relationship with the valleys and wider region remains crucial with around 80,000 people commuting into Cardiff on a daily basis. By ensuring that we have the right environment and the right infrastructure, Cardiff can attract new businesses here.
We are competing with other cities in the UK to bring those jobs to Cardiff but the good news of electrification plans for the Great Western mainline will help to establish our economic competitiveness as Cardiff will be that much more accessible from London and Heathrow.
Our plans to establish a convention centre in the city will boost business tourism to Wales while the Porth Teigr development and new BBC drama production village continues the regeneration of Cardiff Bay and further promotes Cardiff as a hub for the creative industries in Wales.,
These are all exciting developments for Cardiff and indeed the whole of the South Wales region as we seek to deliver more jobs, investment in transport and new opportunities in the city.
We have made it very clear as a Council that we will do everything we can to support the expansion and creation of business in the city and these developments underline our commitment to ensuring that we continue to move forward and do all that we can to make sure Cardiff continues to prosper and grow.
What do you think about Rodney Berman’s comments? How do you think more jobs can be created in Cardiff? Let us know in the comments below