UK investment is booming- and we don’t just mean in its capital city of London. In fact, Cardiff, Newport and the wider South Wales area are proving to have great investment opportunities for businesses of all sizes.
Why it’s good to base your business in South Wales
Cardiff is appealing to investors because it is the closest European capital city to London. This is a key reason why many businesses based in Cardiff or London have offices in both capitals; because it’s an easy way to increase a company’s presence. Additionally, Cardiff and Newport are located along an area of the UK called the ‘M4 corridor’. We at Rombourne know just how useful this can be, as it doesn’t just connect us to London, but to our serviced offices in Bristol and Swindon.
In conjunction with this comes the long-awaited abolishment of the Severn Bridge tolls. This will take place on 17th December 2018 and will make travelling throughout the UK easier and cheaper, allowing more businesses to do business in other areas.
Companies already choosing to invest in South Wales
South Wales currently offers a range of investment opportunities with businesses of all sizes. The Admiral Group is one of the biggest companies to be based here, and it is the parent to numerous others, such as Confused.com and Elephant Insurance. Other examples include the Newport-based Johnson & Phillips, a high voltage company that have been expanding their fleet of vehicles and business space due to their rapid expansion.
Smaller businesses are also excelling, thanks to impressive investments. Transcend Packaging, as an example, has secured a deal to manufacture McDonalds’ new environmentally friendly paper straws. The company is also investing £11m in an expansion, that alongside a £500,000 government grant, will see them grow from a 20-person company to one with 200+ staff by 2021.
In a similar vein, technology companies in the area are also securing exciting investments. In, 2017 Penarth based Open Genius became the first Welsh company to join Elite, the London Stock Exchange’s accelerator programme. This shows that even those based in London recognise the potential of South Wales businesses. Moreover, Vortex IoT is a Swansea based start-up that has big plans. Vortex IoT is aiming to be worth £30m within 5 years, as it drives forward crowdfunding, gains funding from the Development Bank of Wales, and quickly secures deals with companies such as Tata Steel and Network Rail.
The Development Bank of Wales has also invested in other tech companies, for example Near Me Now. It invested £150,000 in the tech company, that also received £60,000 from private investors. Near Me Now is an app that digitalises the high street and creates a platform where businesses can advertise and interact with customers and other businesses. Investment in tech companies is great for South Wales, as it’s bringing professionals with various skillsets to Cardiff’s growing tech scene.
Following on from this, the Development Bank of Wales is a great indicator in itself that South Wales investment is exciting. In Q1 2018/2019 the Development Bank of Wales invested £11.8m directly into Welsh business, making a total of 69 investments in 58 companies.
Cardiff and Newport – cities on the rise
Another great sign of South Wales’ investment potential is the development of its infrastructure. Cardiff is currently undergoing a £100m city centre development scheme that will develop the new Central Square and Central Quay. This development houses the BBC Wales headquarters and is set to include 21 new buildings including a transport hub, the new bus station, offices and a 7-storey carpark. The Central Quay promises to provide an environment to live, work and play, highlighting investment opportunities within all of these sectors.
Similarly, the city of Newport has seen a lot of investment in recent years, such as Friars Walk, and the agreed transformation of Newport’s tallest building, Chartist Tower. This is set to include a 163 bed hotel, along with retail, office and residential opportunities.
Cardiff is also seeing residential opportunities especially in the student housing sector. If you were to stand on the junction of City Road and Newport Road alone, there are 8 different student developments that will eventually hold 2964 student beds, each costing £260 per week. Student attracting investment diversifies Cardiff, aids the South Wales economy and prepares the next generation of business people, researchers and professionals.
Evidently, South Wales is fast becoming a superb place for investment. As providers of quality serviced office space, this is something that really excites us here at Rombourne. If you have any questions or want to inquire about our serviced offices in great locations in Cardiff, Newport, Bristol or Swindon, please contact us.