The new body set up by Cardiff council to promote the capital and grow the city’s economy met for the first time last night.
Members of the inaugural advisory board agreed the priorities of the Cardiff Business Council, which has received £1.5m in taxpayers’ cash to spend over the next three years.
The Business Council, which effectively replaces Cardiff Co, will be set up as an arms-length company owned by Wales’ biggest local authority.
Membership will be open to all rate-paying businesses and third sector organisations in the city, free of charge.
Membership will also be available to businesses outside Cardiff across the wider city-region for an annual membership fee.
Members will be able to purchase “enhanced membership packages in return for additional benefits”, however these have yet to be announced.
According to a report agreed by the Labour cabinet yesterday, the role of the Cardiff Business Council will be to:
- Represent the views and interests of all businesses in Cardiff;
- Act as the principal interface between the local business community and council;
- Advise the council on strategy to improve economic development;
- Support the marketing and promotion of the city;
- Promote growth via business-to-business activity through a range of services such as networking events.
The advisory board, made up of local business leaders from a range of industries, has been appointed by the council.
Councillor Russell Goodway yesterday said he eventually wants elections to determine membership of the advisory board, though this is unlikely to be held next year.
To keep costs down, the body will have no directly-employed staff.
The annual £500,000 funding commitment for the next three years will be for “proactive economic development initiatives and for marketing the city”.
A programme of events in the region, London and around the world will be developed to sell Cardiff as a business destination, inaugural chairman Nigel Roberts said.
The managing director of Paramount Interiors added: “This a real opportunity for all businesses in the Cardiff capital region.
“Cardiff council has made its commitment to provide the investment and resources to deliver a programme driven and funded in partnership with organisations in the region.”
Business Council Members:
Nigel Roberts: Paramount/NG properties
Interim Advisory Board
Steven Madeley: St David’s shopping centre
Marie Fagan: Cardiff Hilton and chairman of the Cardiff Hoteliers Association
Paul Webber: Arup
Mike Hall: PMG
Frank Holmes: Gambit
Phil Jardine: Morgan Cole
Lynda Campbell: British Gas
Antony Chapman: Cardiff Met University
Colin Riordan: Cardiff University
Sally Oldham: Global Radio Group
Mike James: Cardiff Vale College
John Jones: LD3