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CARDIFF locate | invest | succeed | enjoy





CArdiff is securing new inward investment from london and south east

legal & business advisory FIRMS boastING UK and international reputations


Front cover image: Sam Warburton, captain of Wales and British & Irish Lions international rugby teams.

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Cardiff Business Council - a partnership between public and private sectors to ensure even greater levels of entrepreneurship and wealth creation.

 New creative industry investment in the city and quality staff gives Cardiff the competitive edge.


 Melanie Hamer, founder partner and director of Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice, says Cardiff provides the perfect work life balance.

Three very successful entrepreneurs whose original home is far away convert you to what a great place Cardiff is to live and grow a successful business.

12 CAPITAL ASSETS Wales and British & Irish Lions’ victorious captain Sam Warburton muses on his inspirational hometown and its sporting prowess.

14 SET UP FOR LIFE  The new £100m Wales Life Sciences Fund and Welsh Life Sciences Hub located in Cardiff Bay.

17 FOOD FOR THOUGHT A trio of ambitious universities talk of their exciting growth strategies, innovation and entrepreneurship.

21 A SLICE OF THE CITY  Confidence in Cardiff’s commercial property market as a sound investment location for institutional funds.



28 BUZZY, BUZZY, BUZZY Sam Gould of Total Students is helping to make the high street sexy again.

30 FOCUS ON TEN GREAT FIRMS The Cardiff city-region is the engine room of the Welsh economy with a first class workforce and a new wave of confident entrepreneurs.

33 A WALK ON THE WELSH SIDE Sion Barry, Business Editor, Media Wales, relates his Cardiff story; from an unsure young capital of Wales to one now fully confident of its place in the world.

35 10 REASONS WHY... ...Cardiff is a great place to do business.




©2014. Cardiff | locate | invest | succeed | enjoy is published by Cardiff Business Council, The Courtyard, County Hall, Cardiff Bay CF10 4UW. Designed by Escape to… Design Ltd. With many thanks to: Sion Barry, Business Editor, Media Wales; Media Wales for allowing us access to their image library; Steve Bembo at Photo Library Wales; Christopher Baker at CAVC; Danielle at Biocatalysts and Anna Howard at Monitise for their very kind help and assistance; Visit Wales image library; Steve Williams at Whitchurch High School for his kindness and patience; Ben Mottram at Cardiff Blues; BBC Pictures, Phil Roberts for front cover image, Sam Warburton, Wayne NASH Cardiff City FC and all contributors.


NIGEL ROBERTS - Managing Director of Paramount Interiors and Chairman of the Cardiff Business Council. “ Cardiff is a young capital with a great industrial past. It is also a city brimming with confidence and optimism which has a shared vision for its future. So why not come and be part of the next exciting chapter in the Cardiff story? � To find out more



WE CAME, W E S AW, WE CONCUR Cardiff H o w a shared visi o n f o r the C ardiff cit y- re g i o n and Wales B R O U G H T t o g ether the public and private sect o rs t o drive success and wealth creati o n .

As the nearest capital to London we are well placed to do business with not just the UK, but the world

Photography: PHIL ROBERTS


ardiff is a modern and vibrant capital city. It is

do business with not just the UK, but the world,” said Nigel

also a great place to live, work and enjoy life.


With a Council that has a “can do” attitude

“Cardiff International Airport has recently received

it was only natural that a close relationship

significant new investment and provides worldwide links

should be forged with the private sector –

via Amsterdam, Dublin and Paris while Heathrow is no more

leading to the launch of the Cardiff Business Council. The aim of the organisation is to ensure that all stakeholders in

than 90 minutes by car. “The planned electrification of the Great Western main

the Cardiff City-Region are working toward the same goals,

line from London to South Wales will further cut travel

with the same vision creating a true partnership to achieve

times to and from Paddington. Nearer to home the Welsh

even greater levels of entrepreneurship and wealth-creation.

Government has committed to deliver a new integrated

While the local authority wants to support the private

transport link for south-east Wales. The new Metro system

sector in what it does best – creating jobs and opportunity

promises to transform the Cardiff city-region’s bus and rail

– it also wants to focus on partnership with all stakeholders

links and will introduce new tram routes in the city.

in the city and the wider Cardiff City-Region: businesses,

“Wales has super-fast fibre-optic broadband already

universities & colleges, the third sector as well as the Welsh

connecting over 550,000 homes and businesses which is

Government and the region’s nine other unitary authorities.

planned to increase to some 96 per cent of Welsh premises

What is agreed by all is that Cardiff has all the right ingredients needed for commercial success: a hard-working

by the spring of 2016.” More specifically businesses in Cardiff and Newport are

and loyal workforce, access to growth capital, professional

set to benefit from a share of £100m worth of funding to

advisers as good as any in the UK, and it is the closest

connect them to faster broadband services with grants of up

European capital to London.

to £3K available for businesses.

Cardiff also has excellent quality of life credentials with

Nigel Roberts relishes the task ahead of him and his

some of the UK’s best venues, a thriving cultural and arts

board. “We are already working effectively with the local

scene, first class universities and colleges, excellent retail

authority and the Welsh Government,” he said.

shopping and a vibrant social life. It is also a city with real soul and because of its compactness has human scale. Chairing the Cardiff Business Council is local businessman

“Our aim is to forge a strong partnership that is able to help drive forward the economy of the Cardiff city-region. “I believe that what helps make Cardiff such a good city

Nigel Roberts, born and bred in Cardiff and a passionate

in which to live and work is its unique selling point - its

champion of the capital city.

compactness and genuine friendliness.”

“As the nearest capital to London we are well placed to

To find out more



MAKE YOU R S E L F AT H O M E You don’t have to be born in Cardiff to love it. Here we talk to three very successful entrepreneurs whose original home is far away. Who better to convince you what a great place Cardiff is to live and to grow a successful business.

Main Image: Geraint JONES

Raj Aggrawal FROM KENYA TO CARDIFF Originally from Kenya, Raj arrived in the Welsh capital to study pharmacy and was immediately hooked. He explains why the capital is such a great place to live, create businesses and have fun. Raj you first came to the capital to study pharmacy at Cardiff University, so why did you decide to stay?

I really enjoyed my time between 1969 and 1972 at Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy, which has a world class reputation and is ranked number one in the Guardian’s University Guide 2014. I was very, very happy here and saw no reason to leave. There is no other city in the UK I would rather live. It was a tremendously exciting time for me after leaving university and embarking on a career with Boots. I started as a relief manager in Boots’ stores in Cardiff before taking on senior management duties. Cardiff in the early 70s was a very friendly, very compact and a great place to live. My career with Boots took me away from Cardiff to London to work for several years, but I always saw the Welsh capital as my home. It was destiny when an opportunity arose to return to Cardiff where I have remained ever since. 7

WORK • LIFE You have numerous business interests from pharmacy to property. So how good is the city’s workforce?

One word describes the Cardiff workforce: brilliant. They are very loyal, dedicated and adaptable. We’re very fortunate to be able to draw on such a vast pool of international talent from our universities, and all Welsh people know the meaning of hard work. Recruitment is easy and, perhaps more importantly, so is retention. When people start working or living in Cardiff, they never want to leave. No other city in UK can beat it for its friendliness, family life and the wonderful range of sporting, shopping and cultural facilities.

1 SWALEC Stadium 2 Cardiff Castle 3 Millennium Stadium 4 Arcade shopping

As the recently appointed Indian honorary Consul for Wales, how can the commercial ties between Wales, and in particular its capital, and India be deepened?



By maintaining and growing the positive relationships we already enjoy. Trade missions are important - we need to go to India and stress the advantages of Wales and Cardiff in particular. We need to show how other firms who have moved to Cardiff have thrived. We also need to stress the quality of life people enjoy here, the amazing workforce and the practical benefits of moving to Cardiff such as its enterprise zone for financial and professional services which makes it such an attractive economic destination. Cardiff Council does a fantastic job with these incentives, making it as easy as possible for firms from India and all over the world to start trading in Cardiff. The First Minister, and his team have done a wonderful job in promoting Wales internationally, particularly in India. His trade mission there recently was a huge success and created a real aura right across India


with a clear message: Wales is open for business. Indians are also quick to pick up on Cardiff’s cricket connections and millions in India enjoyed the recent ICC Cricket Champions Trophy which saw games played at the SWALEC Stadium. How important are the city’s universities to driving its economic competitiveness?

The universities are the backbone of our economic development. We have three world recognised teaching and research universities: Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and South Wales University. That’s an enormous pool of international talent - I would estimate around 80,000 students. Over 15% of those will be international students. Put simply, Cardiff is a wonderful hub of intelligent young people eager to start out on their careers and bring more economic benefits to the city and stronger international relationships. Higher education certainly enhances the huge Cardiff brand. Cardiff has a long tradition of welcoming many nationalities from around the world. What do you think this says about the city?

I remember well the warm welcome I received when I came here in 1969, and that friendliness is still evident today. It’s why I’m proud to call Cardiff my home. Cardiff is truly an international city where anyone can thrive and prosper. The same welcome I received was extended to my family. My son Rakesh loves Cardiff, too, and also studied at the university, leaving with a distinction. He embarked on his own successful business career here, founding the online beauty retailer; His children are growing up in the city too and are very proud of their Welsh roots.


Did you know? Cardiff Universtiy’s School of Pharmacy is number one, in the Guardian University Guide 2014

Did you know? Cardiff and the Welsh Government work together to deliver quick decisions to make your business grow




HENRY ENGELHARDT FROM CHICAGO TO CARDIFF American-born chief executive Henry Engelhardt, who set up his business with chief operating officer David Stevens, talks about the success of the business Admiral Insurance and of being headquartered in Cardiff. It was 20 years ago that the start-up business, selling car insurance over the phone, was launched in Cardiff. In its first year the business, with an initial workforce of just over 50, turned over an impressive £18m. Henry you have lived and worked in the US, France, as well as London. So how would you rate Cardiff?

Cardiff is a good place to work. It doesn’t have the pace of London or Chicago, but that’s part of what makes it special. For a medium-sized city, there’s a lot going on yet it has the good things that come with living in a small town, like being able to get from place to place. I tell people from London and Chicago that a traffic jam in Cardiff means an extra light, not the whole of the weekend. You chose the city centre for Admiral’s new 200,000 sq ft headquarters building in Cardiff – why is it so important to be located in the heart of the capital?

Staff like working in the city centre. They have access to all the shops, restaurants and amenities during their lunch break or after work. In addition, you get the best of all the transport links: buses, trains, bikes, car or walking… so we get lots of people who can come and work for us.

Admiral’s Cardiff workforce is drawn from across the Cardiff city-region. How good are they and the region’s wider workforce?

We’re very pleased with the quality of our staff. There’s a good sense of customer service and people are naturally friendly and helpful. Our customers across the UK respond well when they realise they are talking with someone in Wales. What advice would you give to a company relocating to Cardiff from overseas or the south-east of England?

You risk losing your executives to Wales. They call this the ‘graveyard of executives’ for a reason. Once people get used to the lifestyle here they don’t really want to move anywhere else.


If you were looking to impress a first time visitor to Cardiff where would you take them?

A Six Nations’ rugby match. The atmosphere is fantastic and the location of the Millennium Stadium right in the middle of the city is unique. It’s also great for us to see the Admiral logo on the Welsh players’ jerseys! From a start-up in Cardiff 20 years ago to a FTSE 100 business with a global workforce of nearly 7,000 with 5,000 in South Wales. That’s pretty spectacular. Is there any reason why another start-up today in Cardiff couldn’t achieve the same level of success?

There’s no fundamental reason why global businesses cannot be created in Cardiff. However, that doesn’t mean the area isn’t without its challenges to create an environment that makes it more likely for global businesses to be created here and that includes things like air and ground transport links and executive housing.

1 Cardiff Bay 2 Cardiff Market 3 The Bunkhouse 4 Millennium Centre



Did you know? 2

Cardiff is home to the DOCTOR WHO EXPERIENCE

BILL MAYNE FROM DERRY TO CARDIFF Northern Ireland-born Bill Mayne moved to Cardiff to run Wales’ largest independent estate agencies, Peter Alan, before setting up business services group MSS. Here Bill explains why Cardiff is such a great place to run a successful business while having everything needed to recharge the batteries. Bill you are originally from Derry in Northern Ireland so when did you move to Cardiff?

I commuted weekly from London for around 18 months before seeing the light in 1990 and establishing roots in the Welsh capital. So what in particular do you like about living and working in the city?

There is so much to enjoy about Cardiff. First and foremost it is a very warm and welcoming place in which to settle. I’ve made many friendships and got to know lots of good, fun people. It may have helped a little being a fellow Celt, but not too much! There are so many sporting, cultural and recreational facilities packed into such a relatively small city. I can’t think of any finer place in the world to watch Ireland win a Grand Slam or Munster pick up another Heineken Cup. The capital is also in reach of some of the most magnificent scenery in Europe. Our caravan on the Gower Peninsula is less than 90 minutes away from Cardiff and yet it is so relaxing and so peaceful. Running along Rhossili Beach early on a sunny day is indescribably uplifting.


1  Three Cliffs Bay, Gower 2 Castle Coch 3  Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff Bay 4 Roath Park Lake

Your business services group MSS has grown significantly in recent years. Has being based in the capital been an asset?

All our central services are located in Cardiff but it still means that of our 400 staff only about 70 operate from here. I’ve found it interesting to be close to so much decision making, political and otherwise. As a former managing director of Wales’s largest estate agency Peter Alan, how would you rate the quality of the workforce in the Cardiff city-region?

I always believed the quality of staff in Cardiff is as good if not better than anywhere in the UK. The vast majority of people whom I’ve been fortunate to work with have always been exceptionally motivated, hardworking and good fun. Even more recently we’ve been pleasantly surprised how many skilled staff we’ve been able to recruit to help our growth. If you wanted to impress a prospective client where would you take them in the city and why?

I imagine that would depend on where their interests and passions lay. I could however guarantee whatever it was they enjoyed Cardiff would have something that left indelible memories. How long does it take you to get into your office from home in the mornings?

A very pleasant and enjoyable 10 minutes.

Did you know? Captain Scott departed from Cardiff to the Antarctic in 1912



Main Image: Phil Roberts




ot only has Cardiff produced some of the world’s best footballers of recent years in Gareth Bale and Ryan Giggs it is also home to the world’s finest retractable roof sporting arena – the iconic Millennium Stadium where the Welsh national rugby team play right in the heart of the city. As well as professional rugby region the Cardiff Blues, the city also has Premiership football team Cardiff City and first class cricket county Glamorgan, whose home the SWALEC Stadium is a regular venue for test matches and one day internationals. Cardiff Blues had five players in the British & Irish Lions squad, which was victorious in the recent test series against Australia, in Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts, Gethin Jenkins, Alex Cuthbert and tour captain Sam Warburton. Sam attended Whitchurch High School in Cardiff, alongside fellow pupil and friend Gareth Bale and gold medal Olympic cyclist Geraint Thomas. Now how many schools in the world can boast such a great sporting pedigree? For Sam Cardiff is a city which he is immensely proud of. Sam said: “I was born and have lived in Cardiff all my life. The thing I love about Cardiff is that you are never more than 15 minutes away from anywhere, whether it’s the Bay, the city centre or the countryside. It’s not too big and not too small and there’s plenty to do. I live in north Cardiff so the countryside is very accessible for me. Cardiff might be smaller than cities such as London and Birmingham but there’s plenty going on.” Sam is also proud of the fact that his hometown is recognised worldwide as a great venue for major sporting and entertainment events. He said: “You’ve got all the sporting events such as rugby’s Six Nations International Series with the Cardiff Blues and Premiership football with Cardiff City. And you also have big events such as the concerts in the Millennium Stadium which is a fantastic venue.” When not training or playing rugby Sam said the city has everything needed to relax and recharge the batteries. “The St David’s Shopping Centre is a great place to wander and do a bit of shopping and we also go up the Wenallt (a mountain in north Cardiff) to take the family dogs for a walk and then go to visit friends and family. “I try to relax as much as possible when I’m not playing and just to try to get away from rugby. I like to go down to Cardiff Bay and Penarth Marina for a meal with my fiancée Rachel.” As a youngster he regularly watched his rugby heroes playing at Cardiff Arms Park - which this season has a new artificial pitch to encourage an exciting brand of flowing rugby. Sam recalled: “I had a season ticket and used to watch my rugby hero, Wales international Martyn Williams, play every week, so it was nice to get to play with him. I remember sitting in the grandstand and there was always, like now, a great atmosphere. The Arms Park is a pretty special place for Cardiff and it’s our home.”

1 Sam Warburton 2 Millennium Stadium 3 Cardiff City Stadium 4 SWALEC Stadium 5 Cardiff Ice Rink

6 Gareth Bale 7 Rihanna 8 Geraint Thomas 9 Bruce Springsteen

Cardiff’s great sporting venues 2




The retractable roofed Millennium Stadium: Home to Wales’ rugby team and music venue for artists including Paul McCartney, Rihanna and Bruce Springsteen. Capacity 74,500. Cardiff City Stadium: Home to Premiership football team Cardiff City. There are plans to increase capacity to 33,500. SWALEC Stadium: Home to first class cricket county Glamorgan and venue for England test matches and one day internationals. Capacity 17,000. Cardiff Arms Park: Home to the rugby region the Cardiff Blues. Capacity 12,500. International Sports Village: Currently the 50-metre (164 ft) Olympic standard Cardiff International Swimming Pool, Cardiff Ice Rink and Cardiff International White Water centre, for canoing and kayaking. Upon completion, it will also have an indoor snow centre with real snow for skiing and snowboarding.

Cardiff’s great sporting role call Football: The most expensive player in the world Gareth Bale and the most decorated footballer in UK history Ryan Giggs. Athletics: 100m hurdle World Champion and World Record holder Colin Jackson. Cycling: Gold medal Olympian Geraint Thomas.



Rugby: Wales and British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton. Rowing: Reigning World and Olympic champion in the womens’ coxless pairs, Helen Glover, MBE.




Did you know? Cardiff is the UK’s No 1 city for percentage of total workforce employed in the life sciences sector

Did you know? Cardiff city-region is a key driver for the sector in Wales which employs 10,000 people in more than 300 firms

Did you know? Cardiff and Swansea account for 90% of all that happens in Welsh life sciences



Did you know? Cardiff city-region is home to world leading firms in GE Healthcare, Genesis Bioscience, Norgine and EKF Diagnostics

SET UP FOR LIFE A world leading city for life sciences.

Main Image: Matthew Horwood

Did you know? The new £100m Wales Life Sciences Investment Fund is managed by Cardiffbased Arthurian Life Sciences

Did you know? Cardiff University recently invested £40m into its world renowned Centre for Neuroscience


ust a few years ago Cardiff would not have been considered a world leading location for life sciences. However, a combination of the support of the Welsh Government to match the vision and drive of one of the sector’s leading investors and serial entrepreneurs in Sir Chris Evans, has put the capital at the forefront of a new strategy which over the next few years will see hundreds of millions of pounds invested into firms to support the commercialisation of ground breaking products. It will also bring high-growth firms and world leading academic research into Wales from around the world. The new £100m Wales Life Sciences Fund (WLSF), which has already made its first investments, is being managed by Arthurian Life Sciences, chaired by Port Talbot-born Sir Chris. The Welsh Life Sciences Hub, which will be at the heart of the support ecosystem to the sector, will be located in Cardiff Bay. Among the early investments include a near £13m Welsh Government grant support package and equity investment from Arthurian into Alternative Investment Market listed stem cell regenerative therapy business ReNeuron. The investment will see it relocating from Surrey to South Wales as it looks to bring its portfolio of stem cell medicines to market – with a new manufacturing facility in the region and a corporate headquarters in Cardiff. Sir Chris, a seemingly unstoppable force, is confident that the strategy will position Wales to catch the lucrative wave of commercialisation offered by exciting developments in the life sciences sector – with equity investments and targeted support for companies ranging from those in biotech and life sciences to medical devices and pharma. On the fund itself Sir Chris is certainly thinking bigger and long-term, he said: “We launched the WLSF with an initial £100m target size so that it could make a




1 Cardiff University Brain Repair Centre 2 Cardiff University School of Psychology 3 The Senedd, Welsh Government buildings, Cardiff Bay



meaningful impact for Wales. “However, in order to be taken really seriously on the international scene, the Welsh life sciences sector must have at its core at least a £200m fund. This will give us the critical mass investment platform we need to lure high quality life sciences companies into Wales.” The fund will also look to bring in co-investors on deals, including financial institutions with very much a strategy of backing firms based in Wales such as Fusion IP and Finance Wales. On the hub, where Sir Chris will spend much of his time, he said: “It will be the most interesting and unique life sciences initiative ever seen in Wales. That’s why it’s incredibly exciting. “We have never given the Welsh life sciences sector a proper home - a real focal point for people to get together, network, exchange ideas and facilitate transactions within the sector.” As well as backing indigenous businesses the fund will bring firms and academics to Wales, including those from overseas. Many will be based in Cardiff. So how much does Sir Chris think they will enjoy living and working in the capital? He said: “We are counting a lot on the continued evolution of Cardiff as an extremely attractive city to work and live

in. We are already beginning to show people around and they have all been impressed.” Welsh universities, and in particular Cardiff University, will have a key role in driving the life sciences strategy forward in Wales. Sir Chris said: “Cardiff and Swansea account for over 90% of all that happens in life sciences in Wales. “Cardiff has a major international presence and academic output because of its scale and quality.“ And for any life sciences firm considering moving to Cardiff, whether from Cambridge or California, Sir Chris has this compelling message: “Wales now has a serious international life sciences vision and strategy – it is not just playing at it we really mean business! “The Welsh Government, universities, businesses and investors are all stepping up to the plate now to deliver on this vision. “Wales is getting noticed at last and we intend to become a real international player on the life sciences scene. We now have a genuine life sciences fund, an excellent grant and loans support system and some attractive infrastructure to support life sciences businesses. It can all be done in and around Cardiff… so come on down!”


FOOD FOR THOUGHT A trio of ambitious universities with entrepreneurship and innovation running through their DNA.

Main Photography: Photo Library wales

Professor Colin Riordan

Professor Julie Lydon

Professor Antony J Chapman


Alumni University of South Wales • Stars of Gavin & Stacey Rob Brydon and Ruth Jones • Oscar winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins All three attended the university’s Royal College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.


ardiff is very much a learning city with three universities all playing a vital role in driving the competitiveness of the regional economy. Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the recently created University of South Wales – formed following the merger of the universities of Glamorgan and Newport, boast between them nearly 80,000 students and over 12,000 staff. Here vice-chancellors Professor Colin Riordan of Cardiff University, Professor Antony J Chapman of Cardiff Metropolitan and Professor Julie Lydon of University of South Wales talk of their exciting growth strategies, collaboration with the private sector and why the Cardiff city-region is a great place for students to live, learn and play.

DRIVE AND AMBITION Cardiff University has the goal of becoming one of the world’s top universities. It has a strategy which puts innovation and entrepreneurship at the very heart of the institution, as it continues to drive commercialisation of research and an impressive graduate start-up rate. It is already a magnet for world leading expertise and research, exemplified by its Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute. The University of South Wales has a strong presence in the capital with its creative industries ATRIuM campus in the city centre and the world renowned Royal 18

Welsh College of Music and Drama. It plans to expand its creative industries offer and forge even greater levels of collaboration with key employers across the Cardiff city-region and beyond. Cardiff Metropolitan University has set the ambitious goal of becoming one of the UK’s top ten new universities over the next decade, while actively accelerating levels of commercial engagement and knowledge transfers with the private, public and voluntary sectors. Colin Riordan: “Underpinned by

creativity, entrepreneurialism and innovation, our plans will see world leading researchers working in partnership with industry, policymakers and business to bring job creation, new enterprise and inward investment. It will also see an innovation centre and translational research facility and encompass our new city centre campus.” “Ultimately being recognised as a top global university is about reputation - both academic reputation and our reputation with employers.


Alumni Cardiff University • TV presenters Huw Edwards, Susanna Reid and Adrian Chiles • Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock • Wales and British Lions rugby player Jamie Roberts.

Working with the private sector Colin Riordan: “Cardiff produces among

the most employable, innovative and entrepreneurial graduates in the UK. This can provide many opportunities for industry and business looking to access a ready pool of talent on their doorstep.” Antony J Chapman: “There is need for constant innovation in product and service development and a thriving culture of entrepreneurship, as well as dynamic leading edge scientific and technological development and research that attracts investment. In collaboration with business we strongly believe that the university sector, and Cardiff Metropolitan can be a major source of strength in the economy.”

Julie Lydon: “A major element of the university was founded by the private sector and that commitment to the needs of employers remains in our DNA. We now measure our successes against the biggest in the UK, not just in Wales. “As a mark of our success we are currently working through a staged expansion of our ATRiuM campus, which is one of Cardiff’s landmark buildings. “We are extremely proud of our track record of getting our graduates into employment. In the creative industries they can be found working in large organisations like the BBC. They also set up their own businesses in areas likes animation and television production All are playing an important role in the success of the economy.”

Did you know? Cardiff Met is a UK top 10 University for employability

Cardiff as a city to live, learn and PLAY Colin Riordan is well placed to give an external perspective of the capital, having worked in cities across the UK and in Germany. “I wouldn’t have expected this to be honest, but Cardiff is the best city I have ever worked in. “There is a great combination of an accessible lively city centre with all the varieties of culture you might want; sport at the highest levels; the magnificent coast and countryside nearby; good transport connections and the buzz of a capital city that is very international. There is always something to do and the people are very friendly. It all adds up to a compelling package.” Antony J Chapman first came to the city as an academic psychologist at Cardiff University in the 1970s and for the last 15 years has been at Cardiff Metropolitan (formerly UWIC). “I have enjoyed every moment. It is a city like no other, with a rich educational, cultural and industrial heritage. “Its civic centre and parks are unspoilt and the developments of the 1990s are just as fabulous in Cardiff Bay and the centre. The Cardiff of the millennium has grown in self –confidence, vibrancy and multi-cultural diversity than when I first lived here in the 1970s.” 19

Alumni Cardiff Metropolitan • Fashion design Julien Macdonald • TV and radio presenter John Inverdale • World’s greatest ever rugby player Gareth Edwards.

Julie Lydon: “As a city Cardiff has everything to offer students: a buzzing modern capital city; a thriving social life; a superb arts scene; a Premiership football team in Cardiff City and a location which means that students can be on the beach or in a national park within half an hour.”

NEW CITY CENTRE CAMPUS | Ambitious plans for a £45m new Cardiff and Vale College site in Canal Parade have been given the green light by Cardiff Council. The new campus will be completed in time for students to start their dedicated science, technology, engineering and maths courses in Autumn 2015. The striking development has been designed with sustainability at its heart and it will provide world class facilities for 2,300 students and 350 staff. While it will bring together many College activities under one photovoltaic roof, CAVC will still continue its work across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.



Economic viewpoint Colin Riordan: “Universities are

an indispensable component to the economic competitiveness of Wales. It is vital that we work with business, Welsh and UK governments, local authorities like Cardiff and civic society. Getting this right means there are some fantastic opportunities to drive future prosperity in Wales.” Antony J Chapman: “I am very optimistic as this is a fantastic city providing massive potential. As an inaugural member of the new Cardiff Business Council I have a focus on helping to shape the local authority’s development strategy. I would like to think that the international students at Cardiff Metropolitan and at other universities in the region contribute to the vibrant nature of this wonderful capital.” Julie Lydon: “Although the capital city is the headquarters for many of the regions’ major employers, business and industry are not bounded within Cardiff. They are spread across the whole region and the city’s economic ecology is interlinked with the Valleys and other towns and cities in South East Wales. “The University of South Wales provides a major regional university that enables Cardiff and the region to punch above its weight in competition with other major city-regions in the UK.”


Did you know? 3 1  Cardiff Castle viewed from Bute Park 2  Cardiff’s Premier League football team 3  Sherman Theatre

The Cardiff city-region has three major universities with a combined turnover of £700m - employing approximately 12,000



Main image: HUW JOHN


here are some extremely positive developments taking place in Cardiff’s property sector. With investors looking for opportunities outside of an overheating London marketplace, Cardiff is very much on their radar. And the capital is well placed to secure new inward investment, particularly back office financial and professional services functions from London and the south east. The Welsh Government has established an enterprise zone aimed at the sector with a package of support measures, including reduced business rates, in the centre of the capital. With a healthy increase in grade A office letting activity, alongside a swathe of new office stock, either coming out of

the ground or in the pipeline, the city is emerging with confidence from one of the most protracted downturns experienced by the UK’s property sector. BBC Cymru has drawn up a shortlist of locations for a new 150,000 sq ft headquarters in the capital. This could see it moving to Cardiff Bay or a city centre location. And in another sign of the strength of the creative industries sector in the capital, ITV Cymru Wales is also moving to a new headquarters at 3 Assembly Square at the heart of Aviva’s Cardiff Waterside scheme in Cardiff Bay. However, in a much more ambitious commercial scheme Cardiff Council has entered into a memorandum of understanding with local development company Rightacres Property, which will

transform the area around Cardiff Central Station – a key gateway by rail into the capital. With acquisition of a number properties and land around the capital’s train and adjacent bus station, Rightacres will kick start the project with a 140,000 sq ft grade A office which is scheduled for completion by late 2015. Longer term the Capital Square scheme could see 800,000 sq ft of new office, leisure and residential space– on a scale similar to the retail transformation of the city driven by Land Securities and Capital Shopping Centres with their £650m St David’s Shopping Centre which opened in 2009 with John Lewis as its anchor tenant. Chief executive of Rightacres Paul McCarthy said that the precise make-up 21

of the project would be driven by market forces, but will predominantly be officeled. However, with the scheme’s location at a key gateway into Wales it could be popular with residential investors Paul added: “This is a very exciting phase in the story of Cardiff, representing the next major piece of the jigsaw in the development of the city centre.” Ben Bolton a director with chartered surveyors Cooke & Arkwright said: “With an overheating London market investors are clamouring over each other to snap up investment opportunities in the regions, including Cardiff. “There are now exciting developments being brought forward by both Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government in the city. There are not many parts of the UK, outside of London, with speculative office schemes close to or coming out the ground. In 2015 there will be a tremendous amount of developments completed in Cardiff, which is extremely positive and will put the city in a strong position to attract new inward investment as well as serving the indigenous firms requiring


new grade A space to accommodate expansion plans.” Other local developers also remain very active. JR Smart has had the confidence to build speculatively at its Capital Quarter scheme in the city centre. An 80,000 sq ft office scheme at Capital Quarter has just

been completed. JR Smart will shortly start construction on another 80,000 sq ft speculative office scheme. International property fund manager Cordea Savills recently acquired the freehold interest in Helmont House – an office and hotel development from

1 3 Assembly Square, Cardiff Bay 2 1 Capital Square (proposed) near Cardiff Central Station 2

Rightacres. The deal, for £23.1m, reflected an initial yield of 8%. And last year the under construction 240,000 sq ft new headquarters for motor insurance group Admiral was sold by Stoford in a £58.7m deal to German-owned Union Investment Real Estate. Managing partner of the Cardiff office of international chartered surveyors Knight Frank, Matthew Phillips said that Cardiff’s commercial market already has a string of active large investors such as Aviva, Prudential, Legal and General, Schroders and Aberdeen. Matthew said: “Twenty years ago bigger funds and institutional investors considered Cardiff quite tertiary and there was a feeling it was a little insular. “That has now completely disappeared and they now see Cardiff in the same way as they would Manchester or Bristol when looking at property investment opportunities outside of London. “If you look at an investor like Aviva they have investments all over the world, but Cardiff is a very important location for them. Over the last decade they have successfully developed nearly 500,000 sq ft of prime office space at its Cardiff Waterside estate in Cardiff Bay. They have taken the decision that Cardiff Waterside, where it has consent for a further 500,000 sq ft of development, is very much an important long-term hold. That is a great vote of confidence in the capital.” Investment partner at Knight Frank Rob Jones said: “Cardiff has had a great 18 months in terms of high profile investment deals. The funds in London have money to spend and Cardiff is a very credible location. The capital has promoted itself well. It is a similar size to a Sheffield and Hull, but Cardiff is a much more attractive proposition. Investors can see that and they like the fact that Cardiff as a capital city is not going to go off pitch in terms of its geography.”

3 4 5 6 7 8

Capitol shopping mall St David‘s 2 shopping centre Caspian Point waterside development Landmark Place formely Helmont House Eversheds, Callaghan Square Atradius building, Cardiff Bay



“ If you look at an investor like Aviva they have investments all over the world, but Cardiff is a very important location for them. Over the last decade they have successfully developed nearly 500,000 sq ft of prime office space at its Cardiff Waterside estate in Cardiff Bay. ” Matthew Phillips – Knight Frank





C C reative reative C C apital apital Gemma Jones talks to Wil Stephens , founder of Cardiff Bay-based interactive entertainment company C ube on the capital’s thrivin g creative industries sector.

Main Images: BBC


he fast-expanding creative industries sector is the jewel in the crown of the economy of the Cardiff city-region. In Cardiff alone the industry employs 13,000 with three terrestrial broadcasters present in BBC Cymru Wales, ITV Cymru Wales and S4C, as well as a vibrant independent television production sector with UK leading players like Boom Pictures headquartered in the city. BBC Cymru Wales’ impressive drama village production studios in Cardiff Bay, where network hits such as Doctor Who, Casualty and Holby City are filmed, is acting as a magnet for new creative industry investment into the city. And following its drama village investment BBC Wales has been given to go ahead for a new headquarters, while ITV Cymru Wales will relocate to a new HQ at 3 Assembly Square in Cardiff Bay. Recently it was also confirmed that Pinewood Shepperton, in a joint venture with the Welsh Government, is to set up its first studios in Wales on the outskirts of Cardiff. In a recent survey, industry trade body Pact (Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television) showed that over the last five years Wales has experienced the biggest increase in winning network commissions than any part of the UK outside of London. Pact’s national director for Wales is Wil Stephens, who is also chief executive of Bafta winning technology and media firm Cube Interactive. Cube is one of an increasing number of creative industry firms which have expanded into the London marketplace by leveraging the expertise in their Cardiff headquarters. Wil said: “Cardiff is a marvellous place to be based and we’re proud that our business is headquartered here. The depth and pedigree of talent in the creative industries in Cardiff is impressive and growing year on year. From SuperTed to Doctor Who, we’ve got world class animators, illustrators and programme makers on our doorstep. The quality of our staff certainly gives us a competitive edge when bidding for work in London.” With three terrestrial broadcasters, and a vibrant independent television production sector too, he is optimistic for the future of the creative industries sector in


the city. Wil said: “The growth here has been staggering, and it’s now a common sight to see a worldwide film or a network TV drama being shot on the capital’s streets. “The creative industry sector is a huge driver for the city. I have no doubt that it will continue to be a key factor in the success and vibrancy of Cardiff for generations to come.” And he said Cardiff Metropolitan, Cardiff and South Wales universities, were playing a vital role in providing a ready supply of young talented graduates needed to support the growth of the sector in the capital. He added: “Their relentless drive to understand and engage with the industry is impressive. They truly understand what is required to generate world class students with solid job prospects and career paths carved out years before a graduation ceremony is planned. Most students never want to leave Cardiff after a wonderful university experience, and this enables us to recruit and retain key talent without much competition.” Wil lives right in the centre of the city so is well placed to gauge its social scene. Smiling he said: “I step out of my flat and into a fabulous tapas bar, walk around the corner to an Italian restaurant, Casanova, run by two brothers from Naples who import their own olive oil and then head further afield to the city’s many bars and cafes. “Cardiff is a foodie’s heaven, not to mention a shopping paradise. It’s like having Mayfair’s designer boutiques, Soho’s latest pop-up restaurants and Fitzrovia’s bohemian cafes all rolled into one… it’s fabulous melting pot of fun.” As for his favourite place in Cardiff he said: “You can’t beat a walk through Pontcanna Fields. This is a vast area of parkland running alongside the River Taff in the heart of the city. It connects to other open spaces to create a huge ‘green lung’ either side of the river. It’s Cardiff’s answer to Central Park.” Wil believes the trend in creative industry firms moving into Cardiff will continue. However, he doesn’t describe it as relocating. Instead he said: “I see it very much as re-energising these firms and their staff to a different and better way of life. A healthier, happier company is a stronger company, and that’s what Cardiff will deliver for you in spades.”




Did you know? The UK’s No 1 city for percentage of total workforce employed in creative industries 3


Did you know? 5

TV network productions include Casualty, Holby City, Wizards vs Aliens and Doctor Who


1  Casualty 2  The Indian Doctor 3  Roath Lock 4  St David’s 2 5 Wizards vs Aliens 6  Doctor Who



1  Melanie Hamer at Cardiff City FC Stadium 2  Millennium Centre 3  Cardiff Bay 4 Millennium Stadium

P R AC T I C E M A K E S P E R F E C T MELANIE HAMER FOUNDER PARTNER IN WENDY HOPKINS FAMILY LAW PRACTICE THINKS CARDIFF IS PERFECT. its legal and business advisory sector, with senior accountants and lawyers, boastS leading UK and international reputations.

Main image: PHIL ROBERTS




ndigenous legal firms like Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice, Capital Law, Hugh James, which all service global clients from Cardiff, and Acuity Legal, are continuing to successfully grow revenue outside of Wales from head offices in Cardiff. International law firm Eversheds has a significant regional office, while UK-wide firms Morgan Cole and Geldards have their headquarters in Cardiff. There is also a vibrant business advisory sector with sizeable regional offices for leading players in PwC, Deloitte and Grant Thornton. Corporate finance boutique Gambit has successfully used its Cardiff head office as a springboard for expansion, which has seen it in recent years opening offices in Birmingham and London. The region is also home to leading financial services firms such as price comparison business GoCompare, Principality Building Society and ING Direct. Founder partner and director of Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice, Melanie Hamer, is not surprised that professional firms in the capital are increasingly growing market share outside of Wales, particularly in London and the south-east of England. Originally from Aberdare she said: “We are attracting a lot of work from London, due to the fact that we not only offer clients an excellent service, but at a fraction of the cost of rival London firms. There are other niche law firms in Cardiff, not just family law firms, and they are definitely attracting a lot of work out of London. “There is a myth sometimes that if you want the best you have to go to London and it is just not true. A lot of lawyers that now live and practice in Cardiff were in college and at law schools with some of these lawyers and we know we are as every bit as good as them.” Around half of her own fee income is generated outside of South Wales. Melanie said: “London is also only two hours away, although advantages in technology like Skype means we can interact with many clients remotely.” Having previously worked for Eversheds before setting up the firm in 1996, she is well placed to gauge the quality of the workforce in Cardiff and the wider city-region. She said; “There is great pool of resources within South Wales and there are excellent candidates coming out of Welsh universities.

And we are also finding a growing number of lawyers who started their careers in London relocating to Cardiff not only for career development and a high standard of work, but for a better quality of life.” Melanie lives with her husband and their two young children on the outskirts of the capital in Pentyrch. On the capital as a place to live and work she said: “I think it is amazing. I have worked in Cardiff since 1987 when I came back from Guildford (law school) and I have seen it change hugely in that time. It is a beautiful city with great infrastructure like the Millennium Stadium and Wales Millennium Centre for the arts, so we have got absolutely everything you would need out of life.” As for her favourite places in Cardiff she said: “I love Pontcanna Fields. It is fantastic that we have such a huge open space so close to the city centre. I occasionally go running there in my lunchtimes and it is such a special place. “I also love Cardiff Bay which is very cosmopolitan with so many great restaurants. The children love it there and the air is so clean. As a family we spend an awful look of time there.” Melanie, a board member of one of the UK’s oldest business clubs, Cardiff Business Club, feels the city in recent years has developed a more vibrant entrepreneurial culture. She said: “We have a lot of entrepreneurs in the Cardiff area and it comes back to the fact that our ‘brains’ are as good as anywhere else in the world. We have some great entrepreneurs like Henry Engelhardt of Admiral and Hayley Parsons of “As a business community we also benefit from the Welsh traits of friendliness and nurturing. So as businesses we are genuinely happy to offer each other advice and support.” As a lifelong Cardiff City fan she is delighted the club is now in the Premiership. Melanie said: “I had been desperate for Cardiff City to go up having watched them over the last few years nearly getting there. If Swansea is anything to go by in terms of the positive economic spin-off effects, it is going to reap huge benefits for the city. “Some visiting fans will be coming to Cardiff for the first time and I am sure they will fall in love the city. “People have said to me, including clients, ‘you don’t know how lucky you are’ living and working in Cardiff… and I have to agree.”

“ We attract a lot of work from London, due to the fact that we not only offer clients an excellent service, but at a fraction of the cost of rival London firms. ” M  elanie Hamer, Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice





B U Z Z Y, B U Z Z Y, B U Z Z Y SAM GOULD OF TOTAL STUDENTS AND HIS Lock-In events bring A captive audience of thousands of students to shopping centres across the UK.


1 Sam Gould, Total Students. Other pics: The city centre buzz during student lock-in events.



Main image: HUW JOHN

ardiff produces among the most employable, innovative and entrepreneurial graduates in the UK. Its three universities are hothouses for innovation and entrepreneurship, acting as springboards for an increasing numbers of graduate businesses being established in the Cardiff city-region. The region also has an excellent track record in university spin-outs. Cardiff University’s commercialisation partnership agreement with Fusion IP has enabled £23m to be invested into spin-out companies since 2007. Innovating spinouts which have received equity funding include Asalus, Mesuro and MedaPhor. In 2011-12 some 97 businesses were set up by Cardiff University students. One exciting graduate start-up is Total Students which is bringing a ‘captive audience’ of thousands of students to leading shopping centres across the UK – not only providing much needed income for retailers but showing that face to

face retailing, as a theatre like experience, has a bright future. In 2012 Total Students organised 21 of their Student Lock-ins at retail destinations across UK, attracting 150,000 pre-registered graduates. The spending results were simply outstanding with a combined total of around £5m of goods purchased by students during three hour lockin events at shopping centres such as Cabot Circus in Bristol, Trinity Leeds and St David’s in Cardiff. The business was set up by Cardiff graduates Sam Gould and James Hassan, with their own savings and credit cards back in 2008, with an initial focus on DJ events aimed at the student market in Cardiff, before the first student lock-in event in 2010. Sam, who now runs the business as managing director, having bought out his co-founder, is confident that the impressive year-on-year student footfall attracted to the firms’ lock-ins will continue to grow.


Did you know? Since 2007 Fusion IP has enabled more than £23 million to be invested in Cardiff University spin-outs, including £6m co-investment from Finance Wales

Sam, 28, said: “We are an ambitious and growing business. We are currently talking to a number of leading shopping centres who are keen to leverage the student buying power from our growing database of students who pre-register before attending events. “Recently we’ve had great success with our events, attracting 150,000 students, which is 8.3% of the country’s total undergraduate population.” Its first ever lock-in was held at the St David’s Shopping Centre in Cardiff. It attracted 7,000 students who during a three hour period spent £168,000. In 2011 that increased to 15,000 and £500,000 respectively. Last year the Cardiff event attracted 22,000 students, while at one shopping centre in England in three hours retailers took a record £1m at the tills. Sam said: “In Cardiff we had huge queues into the St David’s centre with more than 100 of its 120 retailers participating and offering some great discounts. For last year’s event we brought 25,000 students to the centre. Up and down the

country our events are ensuring record takings and our lock-ins are critical for shopping centres looking to engage with a new and younger market. Cardiff is the ideal location to continue to grow and develop the business.” Total Students is based in the city’s Innovation Centre, dedicated to supporting innovative graduate start-up and university spin-out firms. Sam said: “We could have started the business anywhere, but the business support in Wales is fantastic with schemes like Go Wales and the Jobs Growth Fund which have helped us financially with recruiting, with many of our staff being graduates. We’ve also received invaluable support from Cardiff Council and Cardiff University.” As for the future Sam said: “The events are getting bigger each year providing students with a great buzz, including music provided by our DJ subsidiary business, while for the retailers and shopping centres they are a fantastic revenue source.” 29


FOCUS ON 1 0 G R E AT F I R M S The Cardiff CITY-REGION is the engine room of the Welsh economy. With a population of 1.4 million it has a first class workforce and a new wave of confident entrepreneurs.

The Cardiff CITY-REGION extends from Bridgend in the west to Monmouthshire in the east. It reaches the Heads of the South Wales Valleys in the north, and its boundary in the south is the sea. Cardiff grew as a port City on the Bristol Channel and was the route through which Wales was able to export coal and iron all over the world. Today many businesses in the city-region know no boundaries. Our businesses are still exporting but these days it‘s skills, ideas, technology and services they sell around the globe. Here we look at some great companies that call south Wales home, but the world their market. 3 Feed the world Biocatalysts | As a world leading enzyme producer Biocatalysts’ technology is used to improve the quality, flavour and shelf life of processed foods. The fast-expanding business is now part of the supply chain to seven of the top 10 global food companies. Based in Nantgarw near Cardiff, it derives around 80% of its revenues outside of the UK – with clients from South America to the Far East. To support growth in the lucrative US marketplace it has set up subsidiary Biocatalysts Inc. The future is looking bright indeed for the innovative business.

A creative script BOOM PICTURES | One of the UK’s fastestexpanding and dynamic independent television production companies, Boom Pictures, is located in the capital. Having cut its creative and commercial teeth



providing content for Welsh language channel S4C, it now provides content for broadcasters and leading brands globally. Under its strong management team of Huw Eurig Davies and former controller of BBC 1 Lorraine Heggessey, Boom Pictures last year acquired Plymouth-based rival Twofour Group in a deal catapulting it into the UK’s top 10 of indies. The future looks bright indeed for Boom and its creative hub and headquarters in Cardiff. 6 In the fast lane MotoNovo | Cardiff-based MotoNovo Finance is continuing to drive impressive market share. The business is focused on becoming one of the top three independent motor finance providers in the UK. The business currently works with 1,500 car dealers across the UK. It has a 10% share of the independent motor finance market, having been at 3% five years ago. With a excellent workforce and management, it is well placed to continue to achieve accelerated growth.

Ringing success IQE | If you have never heard of IQE there is a very good chance that you have a little bit of its work in your pocket. The Cardiff headquartered London Stock Exchange technology company produces compound semiconductor wafers, which are used to make the wireless chips found in smartphones. Following a number of recent acquisitions the company has around 60% of the market, supplying products that end up in smartphones from all the












Did you know? The capital has one of the highest levels of ‘gazelle’ firms in the UK 10

major manufacturers globally– underlined by the fact that around two-thirds of its turnover is derived overseas. Its technology is also being used to significantly increase electricity produced by solar panels. Flying high


GE Aviation Wales | The term world class is often overused,

but in the case of GE Aviation Wales it truly applies. The Nantgarw-based facility, whose parent company is US conglomerate GE, is one of the biggest private sector firms in Wales, both in terms of turnover and employees. Its 1.2 million square metre facility overhauls aircraft engines for more than 80 airlines globally, including British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair. 7 Spectacular growth Admiral Group | Well everyone likes to back a winner occasionally. It was back in 1993 that the business was established in Cardiff selling car insurance over the phone. Fast forward 20 years and Admiral now employs nearly 7,000 globally with a turnover of more than £1bn. Actively recruiting it has a workforce of more 2,500 in Cardiff and 5,000 in South Wales – where it also has operations in Newport and Swansea. It is Wales’ only FTSE 100 business with an international dimension with growing car insurance businesses in Italy, France, Spain and the US. It also operates its price comparison business from Cardiff.

2 Legal eagles NewLaw | Set up in 2004 by former Eversheds lawyer Helen Molyneux, NewLaw is already one of the largest personal injury law firms in the UK, employing more than 300 people. Headquartered in Cardiff, and with offices in Bristol, Basingstoke and Glasgow, it is forecasting doubling in size over the next two years on the strength of contracts it has won based on its strategy. It currently handles around 20,000 personal injury claims a year. Its ambitious expansion plans are a result of the firm’s strategy to offer out-sourced consumer legal services on behalf of high street companies, taking advantage of the changes taking place in the legal services market.

Boxing clever


BOX UK | Next time you fill out a mortgage application form

online the software you might be using could have been developed by Cardiff-based Box UK. Established in 1998 by a team of Cardiff University graduates its clients include BBC, LAN Airlines, Investec Asset Management, the National Gallery, EDF Energy and Severn Trent. Box UK also has an office in London. It has consistently seen year-on-year financial growth and developed a corporate social responsibility programme that sees it engaged in both nurturing local talent and helping shape the future of ICT education in Wales. One for the future


Cell Therapy Limited | Cardiff-based biotech company

Smart operator


Monitise | A growing number of us are using smartphones to

pay bills, shift money between accounts and take advantage of vouchers and customer offers. This is the market that Monitise has made its own and its technology is allowing banks like HSBC and RBS to provide mobile banking services to its tech savvy customers. The Alternative Investment Market-listed company has a key UK operation at Nantgarw, near Cardiff, where its 80-strong team services customers across the world. 32

Cell Therapy Limited (CLT) is developing stem-cell therapies at its laboratories to combat life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. It was founded in Cardiff in 2009 by Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Martin Evans and executive director Ajan Reginald. The stem-cell market is forecast to triple from £13bn to £40bn by 2015 and CTL hopes its work will enable Wales to tap into this fast growing hi-tech market and create hundreds of jobs. While pre-revenue, the business is well capitalised as it looks to achieve commercialisation over the next few years.


A WA L K O N THE WELSH SIDE Words by: SION BARRY, Business Editor, Media Wales


have worked and lived in the city for most of my life and witnessed the continuing evolution of the Cardiff story; from an unsure young capital of Wales to one now fully confident of its place in the world. But why would anyone want to move to the capital, whether from another part of the UK or from overseas, to set up in business, work or study? Well first of all let’s consider the capital’s pedigree for business success. It has fantastic world leading businesses. Here are just two: advanced semi-conductor material manufacturer IQE, which generates around 70% of its turnover overseas and FTSE 100 group Admiral, which employs more than 5,000 in South Wales. But despite the wider economic challenges, what I have seen and reported on increasingly in recent years is of a Cardiff becoming a truly entrepreneurial city with a new wave of wealth creators, whether university spinouts or people of all ages and backgrounds with the confidence to set up in sectors ranging from advanced manufacturing to creative industries. Recent research from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta) reveals that the capital has one of the highest levels of gazelle firms of any city in the UK. Nesta looked at surviving businesses employing more than 10 staff and achieving annualised employment growth of 20% during a three year period. This showed that Cardiff’s percentage of gazelle businesses was 11.3%. Only in Aberdeen, and Birkenhead was the rate higher. And the latest Wales Fast Growth 50 initiative, which ranks the fastest-growing indigenous businesses in Wales on turnover, shows 15 of them being based in Cardiff – rising to 30 in the Cardiff city-region. If you are looking for investment and support the Welsh Government has become very much attuned to the needs of wealth creators – while Cardiff Council is also very much looking to work in partnership with the private sector to further improve its economic competitiveness. Funding from the Welsh Government includes its £100m Wales Life Sciences Investment Fund and its investment bank facility Finance Wales which has a £150m fund to support the SMEs. Commercialisation of research at Cardiff University has been accelerated with the equity investment support of Fusion IP. A close knit business community means that things can happen quickly, with first class professional advisory firms that can structure and fund deals without costing the earth in fees. But there is more to life than just work and this is where Cardiff also has a competitive edge over rivals. 33

“ I cannot think of any other city where I could also walk from my home and in only 30 minutes be seated to watch an international football or rugby match at the Millennium Stadium, or even closer an England vs Australia Test Match at the SWALEC Stadium. ” It has fantastic sporting, cultural and retail infrastructure in the iconic Millennium Stadium and Wales Millennium Centre, as well as its St David’s Shopping Centre. And if you want a different type of retail experience then explore its diverse Victorian arcades. There are also great schools too, both public and private, in a city with a thriving higher education sector. Cardiff is a welcoming city to newcomers from around the world - as it has been historically - which has only enriched the city both culturally and commercially. It is also an easy capital to get around and its centre is in easy reach - so for me it’s a stress free walk each morning along the banks of River Taff to my offices in the

shadow of the Millennium Stadium. I cannot think of any other city where I could walk from my home and in only 30 minutes be seated to watch an international football or rugby match at the Millennium Stadium, or even closer an England vs Australia Test Match at the SWALEC Stadium. And if you want to get away for a while, the wonderful coastline stretching to Swansea and beyond is in easy reach, as is the breath taking beauty of the Brecon Beacons to the north. The city’s transport infrastructure is also being significantly improved. Electrification of the Great Western Mainline will reduce journey times from London to Cardiff, as well as on the key commuter routes into the capital with the

Vale of Glamorgan and Valley Lines. The Welsh and UK Government are also committed to funding an M4 relief road in South Wales and a new distributor road from the motorway into Cardiff Bay from the east. There are ambitious plans for an integrated Metro Transport system focused on allowing people to move more quickly and frequently throughout the Cardiff city-region. And there is investment to ensure super-fast broadband speeds. So yes Cardiff is small in size for a capital city, but that’s its appeal. Within it you will find great ambition in its business and higher education sectors and first class leisure and retail facilities too… but don’t just take my word for it come and discover it for yourself.

WHY CARDIFF MEANS BUSINESS The Setting up of the CArdiff Business council is a clear statement by the local auth o rity that cardiff means business. the capital city’s quality of life coupled with a great business environment make it one of the top uk cities for business growth. check out these ten quick facts as to wh y you should invest in cardiff.

01 HIGH GROWTH Cardiff is the UK’s fastest growing UK core city with experts predicting a staggering 42% growth rate over the next 20 years. SOURCE: ONS 02 A SKILLED WORKFORCE Cardiff’s highly-skilled workforce has a skill rating higher than the national average, with 40% of the labour pool qualified to degree level or equivalent. It also offers a low cost base for employment with the median annual pay of £21,570 coming in at 28% lower than pay in London (£30,155) and lower than the majority of UK core cities. source: ONS 03 RAW TALENT Cardiff’s universities offer an extensive range of career-focused courses that achieve one of the best graduate employability rates in the UK. The city’s universities are home to 75,000 students, and with over 110,000 students in South Wales in total, there is a wealth of talent and knowledge for business and enterprise to work with. SOURCE: Stats Wales

06 AN INNOVATION HUB Cardiff is a centre for creative and cultural business, employing 11,000 people, and home to the BBC’s Drama Village as well as a vibrant cluster of homegrown enterprises within the creative sector. Links between higher education and business has also led to innovation in sectors ranging from financial services to life sciences and engineering. SOURCE: Business Register and Employment Survey

07 WELL CONNECTED Cardiff’s status as the most digitally connected city in the UK is only the beginning of the story. An £11bn Super-Connected Cities scheme will roll out free-to-access high-speed wi-fi across Cardiff, making it a European digital hotspot. SOURCE: CENTRE FOR CITIES 2013

08 A METRO METROPOLIS Between 2014 and 2019, Cardiff’s infrastructure will benefit from a £500m investment to electrify the regional Metro, allowing easier access to the 1.4 million city-region population.

04 AN ENTREPRENEURIAL CULTURE Cardiff is one of the top cities in the UK for business growth and has a higher proportion of ‘gazelle’ companies than any other UK city.

SOURCE: Network Rail/BBC


10 GLOBAL DESTINATION, CAPITAL CITY, HOME Cardiff is not only “one of the world best ten places to visit”, it is also the capital city of Wales and the gateway to an 870-mile All Wales Coast Path that stretches the entire length of the coastline, earning it the title ‘World’s Greatest Region’*. Named one of Europe’s best places to live and work by the EU’s Urban Audit, it is also the place thousands of people love to call home.

05 ‘YOUNG AT HEART’ Once dubbed ‘Cool Cardiff’ by legendary travel guide ‘Lonely Planet’, a new report entitled ‘UK: Best City to be Young’ suggests that when it comes to 18-30 year olds, Cardiff comes top for work, rest and play. SOURCE: LEGAL AND GENERAL 2013

09 COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Cardiff is the most cost-effective city in the UK for Business Process Outsourcing. SOURCE: OCO 2013

*SOURCE: LONELY PLANET 2012 FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT Cardiff Business Council, The Courtyard, County Hall, Cardiff Bay CF10 4UW |

Cardiff Business Council The Courtyard County Hall Cardiff Bay CF10 4UW


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Cardiff Business Magazine  

Cardiff | locate | invest | succeed | enjoy is published by Cardiff Business Council.

Cardiff Business Magazine  

Cardiff | locate | invest | succeed | enjoy is published by Cardiff Business Council.