Cardiff Breakfast Club 14th June – Russell Goodway, Cardiff Council

Posted: June 14, 2013 in Business/Cardiff News, Cardiff Breakfast Club, Events
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Breakfast ClubRussell Goodway, Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Business and Local Economy, joined us this morning to discuss his vision for Cardiff as “a city of the world” – and told Cardiff Breakfast Club members to “prepare to be amazed”.

It is now 20 years since the then Council set out to transform Cardiff from a “small provincial city” to a vibrant and thriving capital, comparable to any of its European counterparts. This agenda, known as “Cardiff 2020”, identified key characteristics of these European cities, such as a high-performing and research-focused university, top notch sports facilities and cultural and concert venues. In the past 20 years, Cllr Goodway has had an instrumental role in bringing just such characteristics to Cardiff: Cardiff University, part of the influential Russell Group, the Millennium, Cardiff City and SWALEC stadiums, and the Millennium Centre.

However, these are more than just facilities: Cardiff 2020 embraced and understood the economic potential of culture and sport. For example, top quality universities attract and nurture the best students, creating a talented pool of individuals. These individuals go on to work in the area – and they attract businesses here to employ them.

Since then Cardiff has hosted the Rugby World Cup, the ICC Champions trophy, Olympic football matches, and concerts by huge acts. Russell praised the palpable “buzz” in the city after the singer Rihanna’s concert earlier this week, and anticipated the excitement that Premiership football will bring next season.

Councillor Russell Goodway outlined his aspirations for Cardiff's future economic development.

Councillor Russell Goodway outlined his aspirations for Cardiff’s future economic development.

With such attractive “weapons in the city’s economic armour”, the eyes of the world should be turning to Cardiff. Yet despite all this, Cllr Goodway stated that we have failed to make the most of the platforms put in place. Cardiff has “taken its eye off the ball” in the past 10 years, “underperforming” on a number of key measures. We currently have low levels of innovation, of business start-ups and business density, and have failed to attract significant inward investment and new jobs.

It now falls to this council to “start the process all over again”; to stimulate a new economic agenda for Cardiff and “lead Wales out of economic darkness”. During tough economic times the local government and the local business community must work together to bring aspirations to fruition, and Russell praised the strong public-private sector partnerships that brought about Cardiff 2020’s success. As he put it, the council must break the eggs, but the business community must make the omelette.

The Council’s aspirations full into three areas: infrastructure (both transport and digital), opportunities for all citizens, and enhancing Cardiff’s reputation. There are plans to dramatically improve local, national and international transport links, as well as the creation of a new enterprise zone that will attract new jobs into the city. Major development projects have a knock-on effect on all sectors: stimulating the construction industry, creating permanent jobs, and further bolstering Cardiff’s offer to visitors and inward investors.

Cardiff is a young, dynamic and growing city, and this “must be shouted about” to achieve the recognition it is capable of. 20 years ago such economic drive made Cardiff a worthy European capital; now it is time to make it a “city of the world”.

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