City Minister Harriett Baldwin today visited Cardiff to launch an initiative to market Cardiff more effectively as a place to establish and grow a financial or business service companies.
The marketing initiative, known as the South Wales Financial Centre of Excellence, will be led by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the government body that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. UKTI will work closely with local government and industry.
This is the second UK region that the program is being rolled out in. Initiatives in six further regional centres outside of London will be rolled out by the end of 2016.
Speaking at the Cardiff offices of Admiral Group, who have grown over the last 20 years from 60 to over 5,000 people, the Economic Secretary hailed the success of South Wales as a hub for financial and professional service companies.
South Wales is one of the fastest growing locations for Financial and Professional Services in the UK, attracting over £62 million of foreign direct inward investment projects last year, and creating over 1,750 new jobs in 2014-15 alone. The region makes a significant contribution to the 60,000 financial services jobs in Wales.
In her speech Baldwin highlighted important local factors that have contributed to this success, including the Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone, the quantity and quality of the local universities, the fast and improving rail connections, and the widespread availability of office space.
While in Cardiff, the Minister also visited the Ely Bridge housing site to see first-hand how Principality Building Society has funded a housing regeneration programme that has supported 750 new homes.
Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriett Baldwin said:
A key part of our long term plan is to support a competitive financial services industry, not only in London, but also across the rest of Britain, where around two thirds of the people employed across the sector work in a variety of roles.
That’s why I’m delighted to launch the Financial Centre of Excellence here in Cardiff. With so many reasons to invest, it’s not surprising that South Wales is one of the fastest growing locations for financial and professional services in the UK.
Wales Office Minister Alun Cairns said:
The financial services industry is a major contributor to the Welsh economy - generating more than £40 million of inward investment last year alone.
Cardiff’s new Financial Centre of Excellence will ensure the right infrastructure is in place for the sector to continue to expand and create jobs.
Support for a strong financial services sector outside London is part of the UK Government’s plan to rebalance the economy and ensure Wales continues to be an ideal place to invest, work and live.
In 2014-15 Wales saw its best ever inward investment figures, with 101 projects forecast to deliver over 5,000 new jobs – over 2,000 of these in the financial, business and professional Services sector.