Cardiff named one of the best cities in the UK

CARDIFF has emerged as one of the best cities in the UK in which to live and work, according to an influential new report.

It’s also been identified as the fastest improving city in the country scoring highly in areas like jobs, income and health, with the wider Cardiff Capital Region also singled out for praise.

Accountancy firm PwC’s annual Good Growth for Cities 2021 survey, compiled with the help of think tank Demos, ranks Cardiff as 14th in the UK out of 50 cities and ahead of major centres like Edinburgh, Swansea, Aberdeen, Coventry and Stoke.

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Last year, Cardiff was ranked 27th but like-for-like comparisons are difficult because for the first time the survey has factored in two new measurements of economic success – safety and the vibrancy of high streets – having recognised these as growing priorities for people in the post-pandemic era.

Other factors included: income distribution, health, work-life balance, transport, and housing

Carl Sizer, of PwC, explained:

“A widespread shift in public priorities has been triggered by the pandemic – people want to be more connected to their communities and to live in greener, fairer places. This shift has led to a change in how and where people live and work – altering the make-up of the UK economy, and the shape of growth prospects for every city and region across the nation.

“While it is difficult to be precise about the extent to which the pandemic has driven these changes, it is reasonable to argue that the way we have all been living over the past two years, along with relatively strong confidence in the employment market, has caused a proportion of the population to reflect on the things they value.”

Cardiff Council leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, said he was delighted that Cardiff’s work on improving the environment, including its One Planet Cardiff strategy and its Greener, Fairer, Stronger policy agenda, which has seen investment in projects that would benefit Cardiff and beyond, paying dividends.

He said:

“Everything we do as a Council, of course, is intended to make the city a better place to live and work for everyone. It’s pleasing to see that work being recognised by independent sources and to see Cardiff climbing up the rankings.”

In its survey, PwC highlights Cardiff’s focus on private sector partnerships and the fact that in the 10 years leading up to the pandemic the city’s workforce grew by more than 20% – around 5,000 new jobs a year. “That’s a faster rate than all but one of the core cities in the report,” it says.

Cardiff is identified as the fastest improving city in the country after scoring well in key areas like jobs, income and health. The Cardiff Capital Region, too, which includes neighbouring authorities, is one of the fastest improving, outperforming areas like Swansea Bay and Greater Manchester.

Cllr Russell Goodway, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment and Development, agreed that the city’s challenge now is to share the opportunities around and develop sustainable communities that build a workforce for the future.

“Everything we are doing now in terms of the exciting new developments we want to create throughout Cardiff is meant to not only increase the number of visitors who come to the city every year but to create meaningful jobs for the people in those communities,” he said.

Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com
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