As the capital’s retailers eagerly await to open their doors on Monday, a cleansing team have been committed to freshening up the city centre behind the scenes, ready to welcome shoppers back onto the high streets.
After over 100 days of retail closure, the Cleansing Team, run by FOR Cardiff, have been working hard jet washing the streets, removing rubbish, washing away graffiti tabs and repainting signage ready to greet shoppers.
On top of the team’s day-to-day cleansing duties, businesses have been able to suggest areas of the city centre they wish to be cleaned. Retailers are hopeful that by cleaning the areas around the shops, will encourage people back.
One of FOR Cardiff’s Cleansing Team, James Palmer said: “Getting trade back up and running when the shops open on Monday is so important, and the work we do will really support this. We pride ourselves on making the streets look fresh and appealing for people coming into the city centre.
“Most of the work I do is when everyone is in bed. Then when people are in the centre and they see us, they often stop and say ‘What a brilliant job you’ve done’”.
In addition to the council’s everyday cleaning and maintenance responsibilities, the team work seven days a week, from 5:00am, cleaning up high footfall areas like Queen Street, The Hayes and Hills Street.
Since 2018, the team have handled almost £30,000 worth of additional cleansing requests, jet washed 441k sqm of the city centre, removed 3,076 graffiti tags and nearly 58,000 pieces of gum.
FOR Cardiff, the capital’s business improvement district (BID), work hard to deliver improvements for the 750+ city centre businesses who fund them, as well as to the wider community in Cardiff.
Adrian Field, Executive Director of FOR Cardiff, said: “No one can deny how hard retailers have been hit over the last year. Even before the pandemic, high streets across the nation were facing challenges.
“Being able to offer this service to city centre businesses is an essential part of the FOR Cardiff offering. Clean and tidy streets play a huge part in the high street experience for shoppers, making it so more enjoyable and comfortable.
“Our aim is to give visitors the best impression of the vibrant city centre and ensure Cardiff continues to build a positive reputation as a clean city.”
In June 2021, Cardiff businesses will be asked to vote if they would like programmes such as this one to continue for a second term (2021-26). FOR Cardiff will be pledging a further £7.5m of investment to enhance the city centre.