Swansea, Newport and Cardiff BID have added their voices to an urgent call from Welsh council leaders for a comprehensive support package to help cities through the pandemic. Swansea, Cardiff and Newport local authority leaders and BIDs have written to the Welsh Government to call for targeted support.
Although direct action continues to be taken by local authorities and major investment made, cities are being particularly badly impacted by the crisis. The challenge has been brought into sharp focus by the troubles of high street retail giants Arcadia and Debenhams.
Cardiff, Newport and Swansea together employ tens of thousands of people in retail and hospitality and the ongoing crisis and the restrictions being put in place are biting hard in City Centre, with:
• Its health impacts more concentrated and severe in cities
• The stop-start approach to the economy having deep and damaging impacts on the retail and hospitality sectors which characterise city economies
• Wales and its regions depending on cities as the engines of economic growth
Swansea BID, FOR Cardiff and Newport Now Business Improvement Districts said: “Businesses have been making heroic efforts, at great personal cost, to keep the city centre economy going and to protect vital jobs – but so many business owners are at breaking point or beyond.
“We know that once city centres are hollowed out by the toppling of businesses, it is often the death knell for them. Swift and generous support, accompanied by a well-thought-out recovery plan developed working with us as businesses, is essential. Allowing city centres to wither away is unacceptable, and a comprehensive and significant support package would help city centres through these challenges. Our government now needs to use all its levers at its disposal to protect our city centres and quickly.”