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Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone receives a boost

Words: Sam Waddicor

Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone has secured EU Assisted Area status on the day it opened the flagship offices at the heart of the project.

Assisted Area status means that businesses in the area will be eligible for extra funding and tax breaks to grow, invest and create new jobs.

The zone is currently focused on the new 800,000 suqare foot Capital Quarter development, and in particular the 80,000 square foot Number 1 Capital Quarter, more than half of which is now under offer. US based security-as-a-service firm Alert Alert logic is a key tenant, and the Welsh government is also basing its European HQ and European Security Operations Centre (SOC) in the building.

The zone as a whole, however, encompasses an enormous 56 hectare area in the city centre, which is to be developed as a new business district. The zone is beside Cardiff Central railway station which, if plans to improve the rail network go ahead, could be within two hours of Canary Wharf in London.

Welsh economy minister, Edwina Hart, said: “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.”

“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," she added, noting that this was a "significant milestone" in providing jobs and attracting investment to the city centre.

John Antoniazzi, chair of Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone, added: “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.”