The drive to create a dynamic and vibrant business centre in Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone received a double boost today with the opening of Number 1 Capital Quarter offices and the announcement that the Zone is to benefit from EU Assisted Area status.
Opening the flagship office development in the heart of the Zone – which was built by the private sector and acquired by the Welsh Government – Economy Minister Edwina Hart described it as a red letter day for Cardiff, for Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone and for the financial and professional services sector.
The Minister said:” The opening of Number 1 Capital Quarter is a significant milestone in our plans to ensure Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone delivers new jobs, attracts new investment and provides a great environment for business growth.
“The provision of first class office accommodation is an essential part of that equation and Number 1 Capital Quarter is the first Grade A office accommodation completed since the Zone was created.
“I am pleased to see that Welsh Government support has acted as a catalyst stimulating further investment in the Zone which now has a development pipeline of up to a further 400,000 sq ft over the next three years. It’s creating a real buzz.
“I am also delighted to announce today that the vast majority of the Zone – as well as part of the St Athan-Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone – are now within the new Assisted Areas map drawn up by the Welsh Government and approved by the EU.
“Assisted Area status for Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone, coupled with the planned electrification of the rail line to London, provides a compelling proposition for the professional and financial services sector to invest here.”
Cardiff will be only two hours away by train from Canary Wharf while enhanced financial support can now be available to attract new investment into Wales’ first dedicated financial and professional services Enterprise Zone.
More than half of Number 1 Capital Quarter – an 80,000 sq ft building – is now under offer and Alert Logic – the US-based Security-as-a-Service provider is one of the key tenants.
The inward investment project, backed by the Welsh Government, is to create nearly 130 new jobs and will establish its European HQ and state of the art European Security Operations Centre (SOC) in Number 1 Capital Quarter.
The Minister concluded by saying: “ These are exciting times for Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone which continues to attract new investment like Deloitte which expanded its operations again last year while Admiral’s new HQ is due to be completed later this year.”
Cardiff is also set to have its own internet exchange later this year which will provide a significant boost for business and help give the city and the whole of south Wales a competitive advantage over other regions.
John Antoniazzi, Chair of Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone, said:” The fact that this 80,000 sq foot of grade A office space has a number of tenancies agreed and new jobs committed is a positive affirmation that we are focusing on the right solution to support the Zone.
“The launch today and the news on Assisted Area status is without doubt a strong message that Cardiff is both prime and rich business territory and further cements our commitment to jobs and growth in Cardiff and Wales.”