City Spotlight: Cardiff

As the Welsh capital, Cardiff is a well-established hub for UK business. In fact, business runs in the city’s veins as the world’s first £1million pound deal was sealed here in 1907 in Cardiff’s Coal Exchange. Now I bet you didn’t know that! The coal and steel industries that helped to make this city so great may not exist today in the way they once did, but they truly helped to transform Cardiff into the place it is now. Here’s a few more things you might not know about business in Cardiff.

  • 6,327 new businesses were started in the city in 2015 according to Start Up Britain; that’s one new business for every 55 of Cardiff’s estimated 350,000 population.
  • Science has a strong presence in the city, fostered by Cardiff University, which in November 2013 opened a £30m science centre. The city’s Life Sciences Hub also helps to keep this sector thriving, acting as a centre point for the industry. It’s recently signed up global healthcare companies MSD and B&V Life Sciences as members.


  • Businesses based or founded in Cardiff include insurance giant Admiral, retailer Peacocks and directory enquiries provider 118 118. British Airways also has a large maintenance base at the city’s airport in order to carry out heavy duty repairs on long haul aircraft.
  • Transport links to the city are booming. Flybe recently announced 10 new routes from Cardiff airport to European business hubs such as Geneva, while the airport is currently in discussion with Emirates about a Middle East route. The airport also desires to land a direct route into the US.
  • Network Rail also has plans to redevelop Cardiff central station to meet the forecasted rail travel increase to the Welsh capital from 13 million journeys per year to 33 million by 2043. This will only serve to make the capital more connected to other areas of the UK.
  • The move by Flybe has created 50 new jobs at the airport and future routes will only add to this. Further good news for employment in the region is that BT recently announced plans to create 1,000 apprenticeship and graduate jobs in Cardiff, Swansea and North Wales. Admiral also announced in January 2015 that it will create 150 new jobs in the city.
  • The opening of the city’s Millennium Stadium in June 1999 ensured Cardiff would become a key draw for major sporting and entertainment events. It’s the home to the Welsh Rugby Union team and throughout the year it hosts numerous rugby, football and motorsport spectacles. It even hosted the FA Cup while Wembley underwent redevelopment between 2001 and 2006. Concerts have been played at the venue by worldwide acts such as Bon Jovi, U2, Paul McCartney, Rihanna and in June 2015, One Direction will play here. An independent report carried out by Econactive for the Welsh Rugby Union in late 2013 found the stadium generates £130m a year for Cardiff and helps to keep more than 2,500 people in employment.
  • Being the Welsh capital it’s no surprise that media presence is strong, with BBC Wales and ITV Cymru Wales headquartered here. And of course, who could forget that one of Britain’s most famous and most exported programmes – Doctor Who – is also filmed in the city! Apparently, it’s one of BBC Worldwide’s top five most watched programmes globally. Powerful beings those Daleks.

Did you know?

  • The name Cardiff is the Anglicised version of the Welsh name Caerdyf, which originates from Roman Times and refers to the river and castle of the city.
  • Some famous people from here include Dame Shirley Bassey, Griff Rhys Jones, Gareth Bale and Ryan Giggs.
  • It officially became the capital city of Wales on 20th December 1955, proclaimed by the then Home Secretary Gwilym Lloyd George.
  • Cardiff was the site of Britain’s first ever news film in 1896, which captured the Prince and Princess of Wales opening an extension to the Central Library. [1]
  • Llandaff Cathedral dates back to 1107 and it stands on one of the oldest Christian sites in the UK according to Visit Cardiff.

If your business isn’t based in Cardiff, but you’d like a virtual presence there today by acquiring a local 029 number, then let us know – we’re here to help.

[1] Visit Cardiff,

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