The whole United Kingdom is sinking in debt, from the national debt to personal debt (payday loans). The same applies to Cardiff. The only "growth" that I can see is in education (student debt). From the CAVC Canal Parade site, to Shand House, to Windsor House, Atrium 2, parts of Capital Quarter and half of Atlantic House and other new student accommodation developments. It is based on student debt, and when no one can afford such debt, it will all disappear overnight. Cardiff will be left as a ghost town, with shiny unused buildings.
Glass half empty? To be honest Cardiff is well placed for further expansion in HE Sector in particular. It is an attractive city for students and there is evidence of growth of retention of graduates. Alongside Cardiff Uni's increasing standing in world ranking is USW and its critical mass and two very good specialist institutions, so we should not have to break out The Specials single just yet.
The problem is that Cardiff ONLY has HE as a growth area. The discussion regarding Bristol is interesting because this city truly has a financial services industry. In comparison, Cardiff is nowhere near competing with Bristol. HE cannot be the sole area of growing for the city in the long term. Both Oxford and Cambridge have high tech science industries in the area, and they don't just rely on HE.
The "financial services district" in central Cardiff was first talked about in 2011 by Cardiff Council, yet all you see in Cardiff is empty office blocks (Callaghan Square has never even been finished off and Capital Quarter will be another), which are converted into accommodation, mainly student accommodation.
My view is that if the HE sector starts to contract, Cardiff will not have anything else to fall back on.
The future for Cardiff as a city looks bleak to me if, it expects to grow. You only have to look as Cardiff's history to see what can happen when a city relies upon one industry (coal) to seethe devastating effect this can have when it declines... just look at the Coal Exchange etc.
I fear for the city, I really do.
I work for a private company that employs thousands.
It is not dependant on handouts.
It pays millions in taxes every week.
Many of the workers families do their retail shopping in Cardiff
Their children are educated in Cardiff.
They may buy their insurance. - our politicians work in Cardiff,
We buy newpapers printed in Cardiff,
watch news programmes made in Cardiff
Some watch Premiership football in Cardiff
Some fly on their family holidays from Cardiff
They go their for social events and flock to Caerdydd for the Six Nations.
Its a Capital City.
Obviously it's good to have these financial services companies in Cardiff but I would agree with Jantra that the lack of high skilled jobs that involve an element of autonomy is disappointing. Bristol may be doing better but this is a UK story, it's not just about Wales as Jantra seems to endlessly assert. Other cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle - they all have the same problems. Some may seem to have more private sector opportunities than Cardiff but then they are bigger cities.
I think the view of us in the rest of the UK is that Cardiff is okay, although Wales as a whole has major problems. That seems reasonable to me. Vince Cable got hammered by the usual suspects when he said that London was draining the life out of the rest of the country. If you're a highly skilled graduate from Wales that is where you will likely head. These are the people Wales really needs though. It's a familiar picture in England. The main 'benefit' of HS2 to Birmingham is that it might join the London commuter belt.
I disagree that the only growth is HE. Cardiff's leisure and events scene, which is already the envy of the majority of UK cities is only going to get better too with a new arena/convention centre in the works. Work on a new ice rink is due to start ASAP with an indoor ski slope to follow in the ISV, our sports facilities and stadia we possess is phenomenal for a city of it's size. Hopefully when the Capital Square developments starts to come along, the financial services sector will have a kick up the arse as well, at the moment it's not great but the only way is up, Deloitte already starting to increase their numbers with more to follow.
Cardiff has plenty of room to grow.
I think Capital Square is one of the names for the area in front of the train station where the bus station is right now.
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