Cardiff Council has secured support from its City Deal partners to help deliver a £180m investment project which could create more than 30,000 jobs in the city centre over the next 10 to 15 years.
The Cardiff Capital Region has agreed in principle to give £40m towards securing match funding which will be used to deliver a new Central Transport Interchange at the heart of Cardiff’s city centre Core Employment Zone.
The new interchange will ensure residents from across the Cardiff Capital Region have fit-for-purpose, public transport access to the new jobs which will be created in the city.
Cardiff Council leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, who brought the report to Cardiff Capital Region Cabinet meeting for approval, said:
“This is a significant step forward for the City Deal and for our plans to create 30,000 new jobs in the city.
“There is a compelling and urgent need to make sure that Cardiff Central can accommodate predicted growth in passenger numbers, especially given the role that the Metro will play in spreading the benefits of the City Deal. It’s also crucial that we make sure that Wales can compete as a business location and capture mobile investment. This development represents a vital step towards creating Wales’ first, truly internationally-competitive business hub, focussed around the nation’s main transport interchange and creating jobs for the whole region.
“Over recent years job growth in Cardiff has outstripped all of the other UK Core Cities. We are the economic driver of the region. Businesses want to set up in Cardiff, we offer a standard and quality of life that is hard to match anywhere in the UK. But, if we are to maintain that standard and continue to encourage business to set up here then we need to make sure our public transport offer is fit for purpose. Right now there are 90,000 people commuting into Cardiff for work – most of them by car. If we want the city to have a great future, one which benefits people across the region, then we need to get our public transport offer right. After many stalled attempts, I’m delighted that with this support from our City Deal partners we can now kick-start this work.”
The money will go towards Phase Two of the Metro Central Project and will be used to help secure match funding from the Welsh Government, the private sector and the UK Government.
Phase One of the Metro Central Project – building a new bus station – is already underway. Phase two of the Project, which is expected to cost between £160m and £180m, includes:
- The modernisation of Cardiff Central train station
- A new coach station on the south side of the railway station
- A cycle hub and
- Public realm improvements.
Cllr Thomas, added:
“The first phase of Metro Central – building a new bus station – is already underway. This £40m from the City Deal will allow us to begin working up phase two which is the modernisation of Cardiff Central Train Station.
“We are working on a plan which could see 30,000 more jobs brought to the capital all based around or near to Central Station. For our plan to succeed we need to improve the capacity of the Central Interchange to accommodate the amount of people who will be travelling to the city centre to take up those jobs. Whether they come by bus, by train, cycle, walk or by car we need to get the infrastructure right.”
A meeting of the Cardiff Capital Region Cabinet in Nantgarw on Monday, January 15, unanimously agreed to allocate £40m in principle from the City Deal Investment Fund towards the project to assist with securing match-funding of £40m from Welsh Government, £40m from the private sector with the shortfall made up from the Department for Transport. The in-principle decision is subject to due diligence work being carried out on the project, and the securing of funding from Welsh and UK Governments.
Cllr Andrew Morgan, Chair of the CCR Cabinet, and Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said:
“Myself and my fellow Leaders are delighted to offer City Deal support for this transformational project. Anyone who travels into and through Cardiff is very aware of the desperate need for improvements to the transport infrastructure, and the anticipated rapid growth of the capital city means this project is absolutely critical. I think it is important to stress that this project will benefit all areas of the region, and indeed the rest of Wales. This development is a precondition for the successful delivery of the Metro, and it will act as an important enabler of adjacent development, including the creation of upwards of 30,000 jobs. It is important to note that this project will benefit all of the region, particularly if we are to see the introduction of a new 15-minute service between the Valleys main lines and Cardiff under the South Wales Metro plans.”