Cardiff, United Kingdom
Cardiff is a vibrant city, home for many large companies in many sectors; including Financial Services, Food, and Manufacturing. Manufacturing continues to develop North of Cardiff in the important valleys area, prestigious names being headquarter there; Aston Martin and TVR. Cardiff is the most densely populated area in the whole of Wales with around 11% of the population of Wales, seeing recent annual increases above that of Wales as a whole. Cardiff University, a campus of the University of Wales is around 30th in various rankings of UK universities; a member of the Russell Group of research-led universities, in 2014 it had two Nobel Laureates on its staff. It maintains close links with local business to provide a centre for research and development. The recently (1999) completed National Stadium, the “Millennium Stadium”, now the “Principality” Stadium, sponsored by a local Financial Services company, is a state of the art Stadium used for sporting and music events. With a capacity of 75.000 it is the second largest stadium in the world having a retractable roof. Now refurbished, Central Station sees 12 million passengers each year, serving as a hub both west to ferry Routes to Ireland and East to London and the rest of the UK. Together, the Millennium Centre, a large multi-halled arts centre and the St David’s Shopping Centre, only the 11th largest in the UK, but in the top two in the UK for visitors, attract many visitors. The development of Cardiff Bay Barrier scheme, with subsequent growth of the Waterside area, the largest Waterside development in Europe, has significant impact on Cardiff, making it both an attractive City to live and work in, attracting visitors and new income. In 2016 Cardiff was joint 3rd in best Cities in Europe, with Stockholm and Copenhagen. Cardiff was founded on excellent and developing transport links; as will be its future. Cardiff is in the top 10 in the UK for population growth, fast broadband access and growth in homes built. This growth is predicted to continue in the future. While Wales is considerably influenced by UK general trends, Cardiff provides the heartbeat for Wales, and the focus is on the city to ensure that it continues to drive through growth. In line with this, Electrification of the Valleys railways by 2017, and the lines west to Fishguard and Milford Haven, will support future growth. Some concerns of the “Brexit” decision, as Wales previously enjoyed considerable EU financial funding, are resolved; as the UK government will replace this at least until 2020. The region possesses workers skilled in manufacturing; the move of Aston Martin and TVR to the area shows the opportunities for continued inward investment. Recent growth in Financial Services in Cardiff adds skills to the local working population for incoming companies. The vision for the future is stated in the 2010-2020 strategic plan, much of which has already been completed. Infrastructure development is still underway, particularly electrification of the surrounding rail network, and improvements to local motorway network.