Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

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Business News Wales’ Top 10 Most Influential Stories of 2016

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As everyone settles into 2017, the team at Business News Wales wanted to look back over 2016 and highlight some of our most popular stories of the year.

Here we feature stories from a local and national scale, plus the many achievements and innovations from across the Welsh business world.

Join us in looking back over a great year for Wales.

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1. Creation of a £6-8 Billion Tidal Lagoon in Cardiff Bay

The creation of a £6-8bn Tidal Lagoon in Cardiff Bay – between the capital city and Newport – will be discussed by the City of Cardiff Council’s Cabinet on Monday, November 21st.

A report to Cabinet will recommend that a Scrutiny Task and Finish Group should gather up independent, expert advice on the opportunities and issues that a lagoon could bring to the area.

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2. RCT’s Highways Investment Scheme Totals £76m – One of the Largest Schemes in Wales

The Council’s multi-million-pound highways scheme is continuing across Rhondda Cynon Taf, with over 100 streets and roads already benefiting from the £23m Highways, Transportation, Infrastructure and Strategic Projects (HTISP) programme.

The staggering £53m that has been invested since 2011 was increased earlier this year, bringing the investment pot up to over £76m.

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3. North Wales Named Top Region Globally for 2017

There’s cause for epic celebrations today in Wales as the north of the country has made it on to the Lonely Planet’s Top Ten ‘Best in Travel 2017’ list – the only destination in the UK to do so.

A playground for thrill seekers, a haven for foodies, a hideout for stargazers and a goldmine for heritage seekers, North Wales has a holiday for every kind of traveller – and came in at number 4 on this prestigious list.

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4. Entrepreneurs Celebrate Five-Figure Investment for Swansea Marina Business

Two Swansea entrepreneurs have made a five-figure investment in Swansea Marina, building upon the success of their popular city-centre nightspot, No.6.

Matthew Benjamin and Neil Navarra will open a new up-market wine bar and meeting place called Squires, in Swansea Marina’s Squire Court, with the pair keen to be part of the business renaissance predicted for the city.

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5. Port Talbot’s Tatami Plans to Expand After £220,000 Investment from Finance Wales

Tatami Fightwear, which already sponsors a number of fighters and teams worldwide, is punching above its weight and now plans to expand thanks to a £220,000 loan from Finance Wales for additional stock and a new embroidery machine.

The company are looking to hire an additional member of staff to help with increased production thanks to the new equipment.

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6. New £1.7m Bus Interchange Transport Interchange Planned for Cardiff City

A new £1.7m bus interchange for the West of the city is expected to be given the go-ahead when the City of Cardiff Council’s Cabinet meets next Thursday, December 15.

The new interchange, which would be sited at the former Waungron HWRC site, on Western Avenue, will help provide new links from West to East as well as linking up with the City Line Rail Service in the area.

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7. Local Businessman Purchases 5.8 Acres to Create a Mini Nature Reserve in Gower

With a long running and successful career in the property sector, Jason Williams is no stranger to the acquisition process but a recent transaction sees the director and qualified chartered surveyor fulfil a personal passion.

Mr Williams, who is one of the founding members of leading estate agent and chartered surveyor Mallard Properties, has privately purchased 5.8 acres of woodland and pasture near Bishopston in Gower. The land was acquired from local resident and environmentalist, Mr Tony Hall.

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8. New £50 Million Project to Regenerate Swansea’s High Street

Swansea Council is selling its portion of the Mariner Street site to a development company called RDE Silex to facilitate the scheme. Agreement with two private landowners has also been reached, as well as with Network Rail, who have agreed to relocate to the top deck of the High Street multi-storey car park.

A planning application for the scheme, which has the support of the Design Commission for Wales, could be submitted next month.

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9. Greater Capital Gains with New London City Air Link from Cardiff

The new London City route operated by Flybe from Cardiff Airport could save the Welsh economy over 800 working weeks when it launches next month.

Passengers departing from Wales’ national airport will land in the heart of the city just one hour after take-off, saving approximately two hours from their working day each way.

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10. The Only Welsh Contender – Merthyr Tydfil Declared Fifth Best Town Centre in the UK

Merthyr Tydfil has narrowly missed out on the chance to be voted one of the best town centres in the UK.

It placed fifth – and was the only Welsh contender – in the annual Great British High Street competition’s town centre category, which will be decided in November by an online public vote.

The aim of the Great British High Street Competition is to celebrate the work being done to revive, adapt and diversify Britain’s high streets and champion them as the cornerstones of the community.

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