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Amidst the challenges presented to us all, the last few weeks have been extremely positive for FOR Cardiff for a number of reasons. We have reached out to fill spaces on our Board and sub Committees and have been really impressed by the enthusiasm of those wanting to get more involved and believing in the work that we have and will continue to do to support businesses.
As well as a new Chair for our Board, we are delighted that Rory Fleming, Centre Manager at Morgan Quarter has agreed to step in as Chair of Cardiff Against Business Crime (CABC). Joe Purcell from Hugh James Solicitors, Ross Tyson from St. David’s Dewi Sant, and Sian Statton from WRU have bolstered our Marketing Committee.
Leanne O’Brien, Head of Commercial Property at Capital Law joins the Board of Directors. As part of our recovery planning, a new Commercial Property Committee is also being set up with people with masses of expertise and local knowledge signing up to be involved and help us to navigate the tough times ahead to ensure that Cardiff proactively works to ensure prosperity for as many as possible as quickly as possible.
We also recently achieved accreditation industry standard from the Institute of Place Management. They scrutinised our practices and openness and we were delighted to be one of the first Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in the UK (there are over 320) to gain this. We remain eager to ensure that we are transparent and have high standards in all of the work that we do.
The publication of our Recovery Manifesto for Cities and High Streets (Welsh version) has been picked up strongly by the media, Welsh Government officers and Ministers as well as with Cardiff Council and feedback has suggested that it is a well considered document which is ambitious but achievable. With elections round the corner and many eyes assessing the future of urban centres, we expect this publication to form a reference point for political party’s own manifestos currently being written up.
We should be positive about the fact that there is still investment in the city centre with new and existing businesses in the retail, office and leisure sectors. For example, there has been a huge response to the news that make up retailer Morphe will be opening in the city this summer.
As we head towards our ballot in June to seek to run a BID for another 5 year term, conversations we have been having with business owners about the work we have done and some of the proposed ideas being discussed have been very positive. Businesses are recognising ever more that as a BID, FOR Cardiff, by working to support businesses and represent them across a wide range of sectors, is a great mechanism to ensure that the recovery of the city centre is done well, effectively, and efficiently.
We have also been able to discuss the numerous issues businesses are facing and will be confronted with through meetings with Jenny Rathbone, the Cardiff Central MS as well as the Conservative candidate for the same area in the upcoming elections, Calum Davies. I met the latter with Russ George MS, Shadow Minister for the Economy and Transport as well as Simon Baynes MP who champions small businesses in Wales in Westminster. Both meetings were very positive and they were all very interested to take on board our challenges and respond to them.
With St. David’s Day just around the corner as well, look out for our digital art exhibition as part of the celebrations for 1st March. We have some high quality work coming your way from talented young creatives.
If you are a city centre business and want to help shape plans for BID2, then please let us know