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It’s hard to move in Cardiff without encountering the words Champions League – it seems that every leaflet printed, window washed, or conversation carried out between strangers is somehow linked back to June and the road to Cardiff. In an effort to tone down the constant flood of UEFA preparations news we bundled all of our relevant work together and presented it in one shot earlier this week alongside the launch of our lovely team of Street Ambassadors.
The Street Ambassadors are one of the BID’s major projects and when the city is full of brand new visitors they will be an invaluable presence in tourist information – ambassadors Louise and Mat may well get to practise their developing Italian skills if Juventus make it through next week’s semi finals! Look out for the team in their bright red uniforms – they are all happy to help!
By the time the football fans pour into Cardiff we will have made another colourful addition to the city with the installation of nearly 400 hanging baskets. We’re particularly excited to see them appear outside Cardiff Central station which will add some much needed colour to the grey world of the building site. It’s a shame that we couldn’t gaze into a crystal ball and pick the plants that would match the team colours of the finalists but even so the additional splashes of colour will help to bring a more festive spirit to our major shopping streets.
Our third and final piece of pre-game preparation is an additional wave of street cleaning. It might not be glamourous but it is underlying elements such as the state of our streets which have a real impact on perceptions of the city. It’s important to remember that the BID are not paying for work that the council should already be doing, everything we fund is additional. I like to think that the council’s role is to look after the streets like a person looks after their house, the BID does the extra cleaning that you do when your mother in law is coming to visit!
Obviously we’re very keen for the city to look its best when the eyes of the world are on us in June but there is life after football and, let’s not forget, the world is filled with people who don’t care about football (of which I am one). The projects that we are delivering to make the city shine for the big game will last way beyond injury time, extra time, penalties and any other football jargon that I am not about to learn. We’re here to make the city superb, whether Real Madrid are stopping by or otherwise.