Posts Tagged ‘Cardiff Council’

It is very pleasing to read in today’s Western Mail the article written by Leighton Jenkins, assistant director for policy at CBI Wales.

Onwards and upwards: Cardiff Council seek to boost the economy by Rebuilding Momentum

Onwards and upwards: Cardiff Council seek to boost the economy by Rebuilding Momentum

Leighton refers to Cardiff Council’s compelling case for a new approach to its economy – “Rebuilding Momentum”. He endorses the point that whilst Cardiff is an established UK core city, known as one of the UK’s most “livable” cities and recognised internationally as a vibrant and modern Small European Capital, it is over 10 years since the last major investment was secured.

It is therefore crucial for both private and public sector to work in partnership to help create the necessary momentum for Cardiff and the Region to fulfill the opportunity there is to grow our fragile City economy. Leighton quotes case study examples of Leeds, Aberdeen and Camden where far-sighted politicians, planners and entrepreneurs worked together to create more homes, exploit local strengths, use empty spaces etc to get local economies growing.

Lets hope that such creative thinking can take place in Cardiff, led by the new Cardiff Business Council. As our newly promoted Cardiff City premier footballers proved on Sunday, beating strong competitors Manchester City, with a positive approach and a well-organised team Cardiff Plc can climb the regional investment table in the UK to the position it rightly deserves.


Some real positive proposals from Councillor Russell Goodway, Cabinet Member of Cardiff City Council.

Councillor Russell Goodway

Councillor Russell Goodway

I was delighted to read in today’s South Wales Echo that Russell Goodway has put further meat on the bone of his excellent ideas to potentially save millions of pounds of tax payers’ money, in various local authorities in Wales, by using single centralised departments to conduct backroom activities.

For a population the size of Wales’, not much bigger than Birmingham, we have 22 local authorities.  In 2013, with huge improvements in technology, connectivity and transport since the last local government reorganisation, this is just too big a bureaucracy and needs to be reorganised.

While Welsh Government has ruled out any reorganisation until after the next elections in 2016, do Council’s not have to make savings on budgets now?  Let’s hope Councillor Russell Goodway and his supporters can at least get other Welsh Councils to see what services can be shared in 2013/2014.

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”.

MIPIM_outsideI really do wonder at the lack of vision shown by some critics of our Council’s Inward Investment strategy.   With limited funds the team are trying to sell Cardiff as a location for inward investment.

One of the world’s biggest exhibitions, MIPIM, held in Cannes, South of France every year is attended by some very serious potential inward investors to Cardiff.   Often contacts made at such gatherings, and discussions on projects, take years to come into fruition. I have attended this event on behalf of clients and feel that the Council’s team, and the commercial partners that accompanied them, should be applauded for going to this event to research city competitors actively, meet prospective investors and generally raise the profile of Cardiff as a serious player in international business destinations.

Please stop criticising what is an essential part of the city’s inward investment strategy.

By Becci Gould, Account Executive

When beginning my career in public relations and events, as an ex-English Literature student relatively new to the business world, I felt completely out of my depth when thrown into networking situations.

With experience in events management already under my belt, I had no qualms about single-handedly organising the Cardiff Breakfast Club meeting only two weeks into my time at Petersens. However, outside of the comfort zone of the Cardiff Breakfast Club, I felt like a lost puppy, inexperienced and out-of-place. 

As a concept networking is unusual:  a group of people gathering together with the aim of acquiring information from each other, whether it is advice, business or contacts. Although on the surface the upfront selfishness of networking appears strange, is the concept that different to the interaction that takes place in other situations?

Presumably many of the relationships we build and maintain outside of business have benefits to us personally, whether it be friendship, enjoyment, support or advice – we all want or need something from our friendships even if it is to feel better about ourselves by offering our own support or advice. The difference is we are just not that upfront about what we want from the relationship.

In simple terms, networking is just a shortcut – and in the business world this works.

Once you can get your head around the fact that people are talking to you because they need to rather than because they want to, networking can actually be quite an interesting and enjoyable experience. Nevertheless in my opinion, it is certainly an acquired art…and presently one I am yet to get the hang of.

In a quest to conquer the lost puppy feeling that usually overwhelms me in networking situations, yesterday I decided to attend a workshop specifically designed to improve networking skills.

The free workshop presented by Tim Campbell, winner of the first series of the Apprentice, and organised by Cardiff Council and South Wales Chamber of Commerce was aimed at those taking their first steps in business whether it be starting up a business or beginning a new career.

The workshop began with a short game of musical chairs, where we were asked to leave the comfort of those we had dragged along with us and brave the array of unknown faces that filled the room. Once acquainted with our new ‘friends’, we were asked to tell them one thing that we needed in business in order to practice being open and direct.

Although sat by music students, who unfortunately informed me that they could not teach me how to play the tuba in ten minutes, I did discover that networking isn’t just about getting what you want but also about helping others as, in this case, I was able to offer one student career advice and work experience in event management.

Was this successful networking? I think so – even though I didn’t get what I had needed, I had got our name out there and gained comfort in the fact that I wasn’t the only one who was daunted by the prospect of networking!

So how do the professionals do it?

Here are some tips I picked up from the workshop:

Before the event

  1. Prepare your pitch – What is it that your organisation does? What is the idea behind it? What are the benefits? Where’s the proof? What do you want?
  2. Ask the organisers for an attendee list – study the list, determine who may be useful to you and what you want from them.

At the event

  1. Swap your name badge for a business card – this is about you and your company not the organisers
  2. Scan the room, warm your hands (no-one likes a cold hand) , locate the bar (very important), take a glass in one hand and transfer to the other to avoid clammy hands, scan the room
  3. Locate your first potential connection – usually someone standing on their own
  4. Approach with a smile, ask permission to join them, then introduce yourself
  5. In terms of body language – keep an open stance so people can approach you at any point

Moving on

Networking is a dance not a marriage”  – Tim Campbell

  1.  Don’t spend all your time with one person – once you’ve got what you want from them or exhausted the conversations, don’t be afraid to move on
  2. If you haven’t connected with a person– begin looking over their shoulder for your next target, pretend you’re going to the bar (ONLY if his/her drink is still full), then politely move on
  3. If the conversation has been successful or you got on well with the person – offer to introduce him/her to another connection then leave the conversation yourself (sly but not so offensive)

Business Cards

  1. If someone gives you a business card, it is polite to give them one back – keep business cards in your jacket pocket if possible
  2. Keep all useful business cards in one pocket and any you don’t need/want (but were too polite to tell them) in the other pocket

After the event

  1. Redeem your new business cards – check they all make sense in their respective piles – discard of any you really don’t need and store useful contacts in a safe place or transfer details to a database
  2. Follow up any successful connections with a thank you email
  3. Relax

Petersens’ Tips

  1. If you’re on Twitter, why not see if the event has a specific hash tag e.g. #cardiffbreakfastclub so you can join in any debates and interesting topics that may be going on before, during and after the event.
  2. Arrive early – people will then have to approach you rather than the other way around
  3. Ask open-ended questions to avoid short ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers to prevent that dreaded awkward silence
  4. Don’t drink too much – pretty hard to go wrong at the Cardiff Breakfast Club with orange and cranberry juice but good to remember
  5. Don’t talk about yourself too much or be too negative (nobody likes a misery guts) – try to remain positive and interested at all times 

Seem Simple? Try it yourself by attending a Cardiff Breakfast Club business networking event…just email Becci Gould on for details.

Central Cardiff Business Centre: Callaghan Square

Following Jon House’s, CEO Cardiff Council, speech at a recent Cardiff breakfast Club meeting, and the exciting news announced today in the South Wales Echo of the Council and WAG’s vision to transform Cardiff into one of the UK’s powerhouse, financial cities, the agency is delighted to support the campaign to further the case for the Cardiff City Region.

With the news of the H.M. Governments decision to electrify the rail line from London to Cardiff and to explore every opportunity to electrify the Valley lines, we have a real opportunity to make Cardiff City Region a reality. Let us hope that a decision can also be made to fast track the development of park and ride stations such as Cardiff Hub at the fast developing St. Mellons Business Park. By improving the basic transport infrastructure in the area, the Cardiff City Region concept can be realised. It is vital for potential investors in the region to have fast transport links for customers, staff, suppliers, tourist visitors and all travellers to move freely, economically and safely to, from and around our city region.

Cardiff Central Station

In addition, with Jon’s wish to see a revitalised Cardiff Central Station and inner business district, we can then give our visitors to the capital a welcome that befits a 21st century modern, vibrant, cosmopolitan city region.