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The Half Way Point
<< Back Posted on 4th June 2024

By Carolyn Brownell

The Half Way Point

I’ve had the pleasure of working at FOR Cardiff since its inception, and as a result there is literally nothing I don’t know about what we’ve delivered over the last 7.5 years. But as we reach the half way point through our second term even I am astonished at how much this small team has delivered since we were voted in for a second time in 2021.

For those of you who aren’t fully in the know on your BID facts (and why would you be?!) there are 340 BIDs across the UK, and FOR Cardiff has won more awards than any other BID UK wide. This is a testament to the quality and calibre of what we deliver, evidencing our commitment to being innovative, efficient and effective with our members’ levy income.

One of the areas that differentiates FOR Cardiff from other BIDs is our socially focused projects. Whether that be our commitment to making Cardiff the UKs first equality city, our City Ambition Fund for community and local projects, or our Women’s Safety Charter. We understand that our focus needs to be on the holistic development of the city, not just making the city a great place to visit and work.

I have been in post as the Executive Director since 2023, and one of the main areas I wanted to focus on was having a longer term more strategic view. We’re excellent at delivering our BID basics (cleaner, safer, better marketed etc) but I wanted to ensure we had better scrutiny, measurability and transparency around our projects. One of the ways I have done this is by creating 5 different workstream groups, place shaping, place marketing, place management, member relations and corporate affairs. Employees of member businesses and key stakeholders are able to join these groups and help formulate our annual and longer term plans, as well as have financial responsibility. If you’re interested in joining one of these groups please get in touch.

I also want our decision making to be more data focused. At the moment we’re working on what data is available through key partners, and what gaps there are that we’d be able to fill. We will also be running focus groups with our membership to understand better their views on our projects and how we can better support them as challenges to businesses evolve and grow in a difficult economic environment. If you have access to any information on a city wide basis or would like to be a part of this process, please get in touch.

Finally, I want to thank my team and Board. The team work tirelessly to deliver a return on investment to our businesses and the Board volunteer their time to ensure we considering all sectors with our aims and objectives. I also would like to thank the Board for my appointment, I was really proud to be made the first female leader of a Welsh city BID and look forward to taking the team to a successful ballot in 2026 and continuing make Cardiff the best city in the UK.