Cardiff Business Improvement District (BID) has today (24 April) launched their team of City Centre Ambassadors, recruited to give local businesses a voice and make sure visitors to the city have the best possible experience during their stay.
The Ambassadors will take to the streets seven days a week and will be the BID’s eyes and ears, recording issues affecting organisations within the BID area making sure that Wales’ capital operates effectively for the businesses and their customers. The uniformed team will also be on hand to provide a warm welcome and helpful information for people visiting the capital.
Established in July 2016, Cardiff BID covers 130 streets across the capital city stretching from Principality Stadium to Newport Road and Butetown to Cathays. One of the largest BID areas in the UK comprising over 900 levy payers, the Ambassador scheme is just one of the many programmes of work the BID has planned for their five-year strategy to make the city more welcoming, vibrant and influential.
In addition to the Ambassadors hitting the streets, there is a full programme of work in the pipeline to prepare the city for its prestigious Champions League final at the start of June. The planned work includes, but is not limited to, reinstating floral decorations, a deep cleansing programme across the city centre and placing additional taxi marshals in key areas to help people find taxis when they need them.
Executive Director of Cardiff BID, Adrian Field, said: “We are delighted to be able to introduce our new team of City Centre Ambassadors to Cardiff, it is just one of a number of significant projects we have in place to make a real difference to the city centre. With their existing passion and knowledge of the city plus some extra training, they now know Cardiff inside and out. It is hoped that by working with businesses on a daily basis, their enthusiasm and love of Cardiff will help us to learn more about our businesses and visitors so we can continue to create and develop initiatives that work for everyone coming into to the capital.
“The approaching Champions League final will mean that the eyes of the world will be on Cardiff and provides us with an unrivalled platform to show off our fantastic city and encourage people to visit time and time again. That’s why we have also committed resource to deep cleaning, additional taxi marshals and even nice touches like the floral decorations.”
City Centre Ambassador, Louise O’Hanlon, 48, said: “I’ve lived in Cardiff for 40 years so I’m really excited to have been chosen as a City Centre Ambassador. I think improving areas of the city and increasing footfall is really important; especially to the quirky arcades and small businesses, people don’t visit them enough! I’m really looking forward to getting out there and meeting people. I’d love people to stop me and say hi.”
The new City Centre Ambassadors will be uniformed and patrolling Cardiff’s Business Improvement District daily from Monday 24 April. For more information on Cardiff BID and their plans for Cardiff, visit cardiffbid.com.
Meet the Ambassadors
Andy Pole, age 51 from Merthyr Tydfil
“I’m not from Cardiff but I know it really well. I hope that having a representative from the Valleys will be great because so many people travel in from there every weekend. I used to be a policeman so working with people is second nature. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and getting out in the community. I want people to be able to go into a shop, ask for Andy the City Centre Ambassador and be pointed in the right direction – when people start to recognise us and understand that we’re here to help, I’ll consider that a success.”
Tom Smith, age 30 from Cardiff
“I’ve grown up in Cardiff and have a real passion for the city, I love it here! We’ve seen the city centre change from having loads of independent shops to having bigger chains and businesses. I want to help give smaller businesses recognition and try and take Cardiff back to what it used to be. I want visitors to have a good first experience of Cardiff and see the real character of the city.”
Louise O’Hanlon, age 48 from Heath
“I’ve lived in Cardiff for 40 years and have previous experience working as a Community Development Officer in Cardiff. Helping to increase the footfall and make the city greener, safer and cleaner are fantastic initiatives and will really help improve the BID area. Plus, I’m really into my health and fitness so I’m looking forward to being outside and walking around all day.”
Alex Grove, age 26 from Cyncoed
“I’ve previously worked in security at the Principality Stadium and as a guide at the National Museum of Wales and love engaging with visitors. Working with Cardiff BID is a chance to get businesses talking more openly about the things that matter to them and help them grow which I think is really important for the city.”
Jordan Tucker, age 27 from Cardiff
“I want to take on a new challenge and promote the local area. We will be there to be the first point of contact for businesses in the BID area, to listen to the concerns of business owners and take them forward to bring positive change. I’m looking forward to being involved with boosting Cardiff as a global city.”
Sebastian Wright, age 32 from Cardiff
“I’m from Cardiff and have moved back here after living in Manchester for eight years. I’m enthusiastic about making Cardiff better and promoting the city. It’s important for Cardiff to grow as the flagship city for Wales and we’ll be raising awareness of the amazing work Cardiff BID will be doing, as well as addressing the problems that face a lot of Cardiff business owners. We’re here not just to be Ambassadors for BID but also to help the city and anyone who comes to visit.”