Today (12 May), FOR Cardiff has released their five-year business plan, pledging to reinvest members’ levy of £7.5 million back into the Welsh capital if elected for another term as Cardiff’s business improvement district (BID).
With high street footfall steadily declining across the UK throughout the pandemic and recent reports suggesting that one in seven shops across Britain are now vacant, FOR Cardiff recognises the need to drive people back to the city centre post-pandemic.
Head of Property at Admiral and FOR Cardiff’s Chair of the Board, Huw Llewellyn, said: “With the last 12 months causing unprecedented pressure on public health and businesses alike, now is a time for change.
“FOR Cardiff is in a prime position to respond quickly and effectively to the recovery of the capital and to the needs of those in the city centre.
“If voted in for a second term, we will invest £7.5 million to continue the many projects our members find invaluable, while also implementing new innovations to help drive Cardiff through its recovery.”
The not-for-profit organisation, which is funded by over 750 Cardiff businesses, has been championing the capital city since December 2016 – and the team hope to be re-elected when members vote by post in June.
Outlined in the ‘Delivering the future for Cardiff 2021-2026’ business plan, are strategies to promote environmental issues by transforming public spaces with pocket parks – and ideas to increase green spaces and potentially introduce “living walls” as part of their five-year plan.
As well as proposing a series of new innovative projects such as working with Cardiff’s city centre-based universities to develop an internship scheme with local businesses; introducing a challenge fund allowing organisations to bid for grants to help resolve issues such as technological problems and no-shows, FOR Cardiff wants Cardiff to become one of the UK’s first equality cities.
Cerys Furlong, CEO of gender equality charity Chwarae Teg, said “We want to create a fairer Wales where all citizens are empowered to achieve their potential, and ensure that women have an equal chance of entering the workplace, developing their skills and building rewarding careers.
“There’s also a huge amount of evidence that shows that equality, diversity and inclusion is fantastic for business. The impact of Cardiff becoming an equality city will mean that businesses can attract, retain and progress really diverse talent – which will put us at the forefront of equality in the UK and perhaps in Europe as well.”
Following extensive consultation with businesses and communities across the city centre, all of FOR Cardiff’s most successful projects will remain in place if re-elected.
Since 2016, the street cleansing team introduced by FOR Cardiff have removed 57,754 pieces of gum, jet washed 441, 008 sqm of streets and taken down 3,056 graffiti tags. The team will continue to operate a seven-day a week service to ensure Cardiff is a clean, safe city for all to visit.
Capitalising on Cardiff’s unique arcades, the inaugural campaign of the City of Arcades brand saw a 63% increase of sales for businesses in the arcades, drawing in 206,000 visitors to the capital in one day – with future projects aiming to continue driving footfall into the city centre.
Night marshals will also remain on the streets of Cardiff. Since 2018, they have helped 462,953 people to get home safely after dark.
And hundreds of businesses will continue to receive free training on subjects such as first aid, mental health and digital skills.
FOR Cardiff’s Executive Director, Adrian Field, said: “Over the last five years our projects have showcased Cardiff as a vibrant, welcoming city and we’re proud of what we have achieved.
“Businesses across the city centre and also local communities have been central in our plan for the next five years. We have worked closely with them over the last eight months to ensure they have a say towards what is delivered in their city.
“We now want to build on the city’s best-loved projects from the last term, but also drive our capital forward with some exciting new initiatives to create a brighter future for Cardiff”.
FOR Cardiff has successfully met the requirements for the British BID accreditation award this month, an industry body which evidences the quality of work a BID undertakes and the effectiveness of governance procedures.
For more information about FOR Cardiff’s business plan for their next term, you can watch their launch video or read the full business plan by visiting – www.forcardiff.com/ballot