Cardiff’s Economic Strategy published

A vision for the economic future of Cardiff - which could see 30,000 new jobs created in the city has been published on the Council's website.

Building More and Better Jobs - contains information on key projects which will be brought forward by the Council and its partners to boost growth across the region.

The paper has been produced following public consultation on the Council's Economic Green Paper which was launched in 2017.

Councillor Russell Goodway, Cabinet Member for Investment and Development, said: "The consultation responses from the Green Paper were generally positive, but there were key themes identified that have now been considered.

"Common themes included transport and connectivity; the need to strive towards inclusive growth to benefit the many and not the few; as well as the need to support businesses outside the city centre creating sustainable district centres.

"In terms of growth we have a great story to tell, but we have to increase productivity and continue to build inward investment in the Welsh capital. The ongoing success in the creative and fin-tech sector shows what can be done and we will continue to work with our partners through the priorities and projects identified in the White Paper to grow the city's economy, which in turn will benefit the wider City-Region."

The Paper sets out a number of priorities and projects aimed at delivering the Council's aims. These include:

  • A spatial strategy which seeks to inform investors of the type of investments that are wanted in different areas of the city
  • The proposed major projects that the council will look to bring forward with partners, in line with the spatial strategy
  • The industrial strategy which focusses on growing the digital and creative industries
  • Underpinning themes to help achieve inclusive growth in the city

Spatial Strategy - Proposed Projects

Priority 1 - Metro Central and the City Centre

The Metro Central Projectin Central Square will include a new central bus station; the modernisation of Cardiff central train station; a new coach station, a new cycle hub as well as significant improvements to the public realm. This significant investment in sustainable travel will help to address the need to improve transport and connectivity.

Central Quaywill be a new 15-acre development which will transform the land south of the railway station.

The Redevelopment of Dumballs Roadaims to connect the city centre with Cardiff Bay. The new development will transform a brownfield site into commercial, office and residential space, with a clear focus on improving cycling and walking routes between the city centre and Cardiff Bay.

The South Riverside Business Corridorwill focus on improvements to Tudor Street, Lower Cathedral Road and Cowbridge Road East. A range of measures are proposed including transforming empty floor space into low-cost, start-up units, improving cycling and walking facilities to the new transport interchange at Central Square as well as improving the public realm and community safety.

These projects will significantly increase the amount of commercial space available in the city and has the potential to create more than 30,000 jobs over the next 10 to 15 years.

Priority 2 - Kick-starting the Bay

Cardiff Bay is need of modernisation and this area of the city hasn't yet met its full potential. With the latest proposed projects, visitor numbers should increase, offering a wider range of attractions to increase footfall as well as improving public transport into and out of Cardiff Bay.

15,000 Seat Indoor Arenawill provide a new anchor attraction in Cardiff Bay. The development will provide an opportunity to bring a wider range of events to Cardiff Bay, significantly increasing the number of people that visit the city and the Bay.

The Highline- a new route which will begin at Callaghan Square and end up at the Millennium Centre, connecting the city centre with Cardiff Bay. This will be an urban park running along the existing railway line and will add to the city's new active-travel infrastructure.

Alexandra Head- exploring the possibility for an anchor site to unlock the potential of the Bay and the Barrage.

Providing the Platform for Business.With the proposed increase in footfall to Cardiff Bay through the new attractions, the Council wants to give the opportunities for pop up businesses to develop which will complement current offers.

Centre of Contemporary Arts and Innovation. This proposed new centre will be a focal point for contemporary art and science in the Bay and provide a unique visitor experience to complement the city's current cultural offering.

Priority 3 - New focus on Industry

Focussing on the east of the city, a new approach will be developed to support the city's manufacturing and distribution sector. Proposed projects include:

Cardiff Parkway.A new railway station for the city, alongside 1m sq. ft. of commercial office and technology space. The new development will be on the eastern side of the city, with the potential to employ 15,000 people. It will not only provide new high-tech business premises but will also act as a vital link in the city's new transport infrastructure.

Eastern Bay Link Road.The requirement to complete the Eastern Bay Link Road is needed. This will not only significantly improve access to Cardiff Bay and the city centre, but unlock the economic potential in the east of the city.

Eastern Bay Development Strategy. This involves bringing forward four new development areas in the east of the city to reflect opportunities in industry, including distribution and environmental technologies.

Eastern Distribution Centre.Demand for distribution centres is increasing in the UK and this projectaims to create an asset to businesses operating from the east of the city, taking advantage of the improvements in the planned road infrastructure.

Adamsdown/Roath Business Corridorincludes City Road, Crwys Road and Clifton Street and the interconnecting areas. A Feasibility Study will be carried out in 2019/20 with the project starting in 2020/21.This project will include making improvements to the frontage of businesses; bringing long-term vacant frontages back into use, improving the setting of the Royal Infirmary, as well as improvements to both cycling and walking infrastructure.

Priority 4 -The Knowledge Corridor

Raising productivity through innovation is crucial to delivering better jobs for both Cardiff and the City-Region. Aided by the city's universities, the Council will further develop research and development opportunities in the city through the Knowledge Corridor. This will involve completing the new Innovation campus and exploring the potential for a new life sciences park at Junction 32 off the M4.

Cardiff Innovation Campuswill be the home to the Institute for Compound Semi-Conductors and the Cardiff Catalysis Institute. The site will also host the first social science research park, which will be a creative space for new knowledge-based businesses.

Life Sciences Parkis a proposed new project based at Coryton. The City-Region already has a research-driven sector with global companies such as Norgine; Biomet; GE Healthcare; Covatec and the top five diagnostic companies such as Ortho Clinical Diagnostics; the Welsh Wound Innovation Centre and ReNeuron. Despite this success, there is still a lack of space for start-up businesses, so the new centre will look to re-vitalise opportunities for more businesses in this sector.

Priority 5 - Continuing Our Sporting and Cultural Renaissance

Cardiff understands the importance of both sport and culture, both in terms of the benefits to our communities and the economic potential that it can bring.

The International Sports Villageis currently home to the new Ice Arena; The White-Water Rafting Centre and the International Pool. The area has great potential for further development both in terms of further leisure facilities for families and further business opportunities. Improvements will also be made to cycling and walking routes, as well as expanding the use of the waterway to better connect the Sports Village with Cardiff Bay.

A New Home for Sport Waleswill be explored to improve the facilities available.

Improve Sporting Facilities, from Elite Sports to Community Clubs and Teamsthrough a partnership approach will be explored to improve the facilities that are available.

Industrial Strategy

Cardiff's digital and creative sector continues to thrive in the city. Cardiff aims to become the most innovative city in this sector by working collaboratively with partners to increase productivity by sharing ideas and expertise to continue to drive growth.

Priority 1 - A Creative and Digital City

The Creative and Digital Accelerator and Academy Projectaims to build on the current success by creating a Creative and Strategic Board made up of representatives from Local Government; Welsh Government; Further and Higher Education and industry representatives. This board will co-ordinate skills, training and business support to continue growth in this sector. The board will also take a leading role to instigate inward investment in this sector with plans to establish new space for start-up businesses.

Establish an Internationally Significant Creative and Digital Showcase Programme. This will be held every year to promote the best talent in the Creative and digital technologies sector.

A Music Strategy for Cardiff.This work is in partnership with global leaders of the Music Cities Movement, Sound Diplomacy and the strategy is now nearing completion.

Priority 2 - The world's leading compound semi-conductor city

Cardiff has led the UK's development of compound semi-conductors. In simple terms, if you have a smart phone, it is more than likely that the most advanced technologies in your phone have come from Cardiff. This sector already employs more than 2,000 people in highly-skilled jobs and the opportunities for expansion are huge.

Cardiff Parkwaywill lie at the heart of the expansion in this sector providing a wide range of business premises for this business sector. The new business park will have mainline train access and easy access to the M4 motorway.

Priority 3 - The UK's Dedicated Reg-Tech and Fin-Tech Cluster (regulatory and financial sectors)

The city is growing success in the regulatory and financial technology sectors. Some of the UK's biggest accountancy firms have expanded their operations in Cardiff in recent years. In the Fin-Tech sector, there have been further successes with attracting companies such as Wealthify; Delio and Monzo ready to set up in Cardiff.

In terms of the Reg-Tech sector and cyber security, the city has seen ongoing success. Firms such as Alert Logic have set up in Cardiff, as well as the National Cyber Security Academy. Government regulatory firms, such as the DWP, HMRC, CVLA, Companies House, IPO and ONS are based in South Wales - delivering highly-skilled and digitally-adept staff.

Fin-Tech and Reg-Tech Accelerator and Academy Programme.Working with businesses, we will develop a programme of support to deliver innovation and productivity in this sector. The programme will bring forward a programme of interventions to support the UK Government's Industrial Strategy. This will involve building on the established graduate scheme and understanding and responding to infrastructure requirements in this sector.

Establishing Cardiff as the UK Hub for Reg-Tech Business.This has already begun in Central Square, through successfully securing investment from the UK Government. The work to attract skilled Government jobs to the city will continue and this will be done through demonstrating that the city has the skills and expertise in place to continue to attract Government organisations.

A New Approach to Life Sciences.As identified in the Spatial Strategy,a new life sciences park will be explored at Coryton which will provide space for this sector to grow.

Underpinning themes

Priority 1 - Inclusive Growth and Skills.

As set out in the council's policy document, Capital Ambition, the priority is to ensure that the benefits of growth in Cardiff are enjoyed by communities across the city

Living Wage City.The payment of the real living wage doesn't only benefit the people that it is paid to, but the wider local economy. It has been estimated that if a quarter of the workers in the Cardiff Capital Region who are currently being paid below the Real Living Wage were brought up the standard, this could contribute a net additional £24m to the City-Region's economy each year. The council will continue to work with our partners, through a range of measures, to ensure the benefits of this standard is realised to all existing and new businesses.

City Centre Youth Hub.This involves exploring the possibility of having a city centre youth club which will provide advice, information and support for young people between the age of 16 and 25. This will provide the ability for young people to gain access to training, secure skills and engage in community activities.

Into Work Advice Serviceshave already proved successful with over 25,000 people registered on the database and a footfall of over 43,000 in 2017/18. The Council will continue to build on this success to communities across the city through a range of support, training and advice services.

Priority 2 - Developing Business throughout the City

This involves the need to support investment in our district centres, to provide local jobs for local people.

Business Improvement District Development.The BID in the city centre has been successful, so the idea is to expand this scheme into district centres across the city.

Workshop Development.There is a need for affordable business space for start-up businesses and a programme will be brought forward to expand the incubation space available.

Trade and Investment Board.To respond to the challenges of Brexit and respond to the UK Government's Industrial Strategy, a new trade and investment board will be set up to develop a new strategy to promote the city to investors.

Priority 3 - Enabling Infrastructure

The right infrastructure has to be in place for businesses to thrive. This involves a number of projects:

Creative and Financial Services Digital Networkwill be a support network to grow digitally reliant SME's.

SMART Cities Strategywill involve working with partners to further enhance the Council's Digital First Strategy to make Cardiff a more productive city and continue to improve quality of life.

Tax Increment Financingis a process of borrowing money against the future value that can be achieved through rent or other income streams when a site is developed. In effect this brings forward the benefits of a development to deliver infrastructure before it is built. The Council will work with the Welsh Government to deliver a pilot scheme to explore this means of funding which will deliver benefits quicker at no cost to public purse.

Priority 4 - A Working City Region

Our Vision for a Competitive City-Region. Cardiff accounts for a third of the total output of the Cardiff Capital Region and around a third of all employment. To further develop the City-Region, the Economic White Paper has to link with the City-Region Industrial Strategy and there has to be a robust and democratic governance structure in place which has the power and resource available to bring about change.