Forty-eight companies in Cardiff are receiving financial support to create almost 650 jobs thanks to an initiative spearheaded by the city’s Plaid Cymru economic development supremo.
Councillor Neil McEvoy, Cardiff Council Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economic Development, said that he believed the Capital Cardiff Fund should be used as a model of public enterprise for the whole of Wales. The Capital Cardiff Fund was established almost three years ago with a budget of £750,000 with another £350,000 added in 2010-11 and £250,000 in 2011-12. So far £1,061,000 has been provided to companies to help create 648 new jobs over a five year rolling programme and also safeguard 150 jobs.
Funding through the New Enterprise start-up grant and Capital Investment fund (loans and equity) is offered to companies within the key economic sectors – creative industries, bio/life sciences, ICT, manufacturing, business & financial services and green technologies.
Councillor McEvoy said that 322 jobs had been created since the launch of the scheme with all investments from the fund made at £50,000.
Councillor McEvoy added: “The Capital Cardiff Fund is an example of public enterprise for the rest of Wales. We should be strategically copying the model in clusters of local authorities all over the nation.
“I would like to invite all local authorities in the Cardiff City region to join the fund. Cardiff is the only local authority in the country to take equity shares in companies, which could produce large revenues in the future for the public purse. In the days of reducing budgets, the public sector should be making its money work for it to gain greater revenue.
“We are also looking to internationalise the fund. I want Welsh related business people from all over the world looking back at Wales, investing, giving our indigenous talent capital to make their dreams work and drive forward a prosperous country.”