Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


Boost for Independent Cardiff High Street Businesses


Ten independent Cardiff businesses are to feature in a £75k advertising campaign following a public vote to reveal the city’s most popular businesses.

The Top 10 were chosen as part of FOR Cardiff’s City of Arcades campaign. Launched in June, the campaign encouraged residents and visitors to Cardiff to vote for their favourite eateries, cafés, stores and bars located in the city’s historic arcades.

Over 9,500 votes were cast during the campaign which saw Waterloo Tea in Wyndham Arcade take the top spot.

Adrian Field, executive director of FOR Cardiff who funded the campaign, said:

“With high streets across the UK facing uncertainty, we wanted to ensure Cardiff is seen as an inspiring, vibrant and welcoming city for visitors as well as supporting the fantastic range of businesses that we have. The arcades are the jewel in Cardiff’s independent shopping crown, and the number of votes cast is testament to how the people of Cardiff and visitors to the city value them.”

“For the small independent businesses in the Top 10, the advertising campaign offers a fantastic opportunity to share their story to a much wider audience and be part of a movement to put Cardiff firmly on the map as the destination for independent shopping in the UK.”

Kasim Ali, owner of Waterloo Tea, says:

“To be voted number one in the City of Arcades campaign was a humbling experience and we hope we can use to champion a feature of Cardiff that we are most proud of. We were attracted to the arcades as they offered individuality in the centre of a European capital city. Our offer is slightly different to regular high street businesses and to see our business thrive underlines the growing appetite for quality focused independents.”

The Top 10 include Spillers Records, the oldest record store in the world, Sleep When You’re Dead, a tattoo and barber shop owned by MTV star Matthew Pritchard, and Waterloo Tea, an independent tea room in the city centre. As well as being featured in Cardiff, the advertising campaign will also be rolled out in Bath and Bristol, encouraging visitors from further afield to explore Cardiff’s Victorian and Edwardian arcades. Businesses will see their images on billboards, bus rears, digital screens and online advertising.

For some businesses, they are already seeing an increase in footfall from across the Severn Bridge.

“We’re getting customers travelling from Bath and Bristol already just to visit our store,” says Laurie Hubball, co-owner of specialist vegan store Simply V, “They’re excited by the range of items we have and often remark that there isn’t anything like us where they live.”

Others have found new found attention for their small, family-run businesses. Chris Manship, who runs The Card Shop, Cardiff with his wife Alison said:

“The City of Arcades campaign has been the best thing to happen to our business. Since the announcement of the Top 10, we’ve seen an increase in customers and have been featured in trade magazines across Europe.”

The advertising campaign runs from 17th September until the end of the month across locations in Cardiff, Bristol and Bath. To find out more about the City of Arcades and plan your visit, go to<>.