The future of events in Cardiff


A series of recommendations on a future events strategy for Cardiff will be discussed by Cabinet next week.


A Cabinet report published on the Cardiff Council website in response to an inquiry by the Economy & Culture Scrutiny Committee recommends that 11 of the committee's 12 proposals be accepted, either fully or in-part, and one recommendation rejected.


Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury said: "Cardiff's enviable reputation for hosting events is no accident - it is the result of a successful long-term strategy to work collaboratively with our ‘Team Wales' partners to establish Cardiff as a leading city for events.


"From major international sporting events like the Champions League final and the Cricket World Cup, to European Summits, a NATO meeting and large scale concerts and cultural events - Cardiff does it all incredibly well.


"But we know we can't rest on our laurels - the global market for hosting major events is fiercely competitive, and if we are to continue to build and sustain our events calendar then we need to move towards a wider mix of global events, alongside home grown signature music and cultural events and increase our focus on attracting business events and conferences."


"Events are part of what makes Cardiff such a vibrant city and they bring real benefits for the city's economy, but making them happen comes at considerable cost to the council and to our statutory partners."


"In line with the committee's recommendations we intend to continue lobbying for additional funds from the UK government to help meet these costs.  But, if Cardiff is to realise all the long-term economic benefits of our investment in events, we need businesses to work with us and ensure that Cardiff remains an affordable and attractive visitor destination."


"Work on many of the recommendations made by the Culture & Scrutiny Committee is already well under way and I welcome their input as we continue to work on the development of our future events strategy."


The proposals recommended for acceptance include:


  • the continuation of work to deliver an Indoor Arena;
  • the development of an events strategy;
  • the continuation of plans to develop a signature event;
  • the lobbying of UK government for additional monies to meet costs to the local authority and statutory partners of hosting events;
  • tasking officers to continue their efforts to increase the sponsorship of events; and
  • holding meetings with the International Convention Centre Wales (ICCW) to ensure Cardiff accommodates and attracts ICCW attendees and spin-off events.


The report also recommends the rejection of a proposal to proactively plan the city's annual events programme in order to ‘smooth out' the calendar and increase events in current downtime.


The proposal is recommended for rejection on the grounds that the timing of events is market led.  The council already works with is partners to proactively plan the annual calendar and it is felt it would be commercially non-viable and detrimental to attempt to limit the number of events at a given time - the aim is to attract more events throughout the year to better balance the annual calendar.