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New arena for Cardiff makes north feel like ‘poor relations’ says Plaid Cymru MS

26 Jul 2021 3 minutes Read
Artist’s impression of the new Cardiff Arena

Cardiff getting a new area makes people in the north feel like “poor relations” according to a Plaid Cymru MS.

Llyr Gruffydd hit out in response to plans for the new 15,000 capacity Cardiff Arena, which is part of redevelopment plans for Atlantic Wharf in Cardiff Bay.

He said: “Another new arena for Cardiff – yards from the Millennium centre and a mile from the Motorpoint Arena, St David’s Hall, Millenium Stadium.

“I know spec is different and it’s great news for Cardiff – but this really makes us feel like the poor relations up here in north Wales.”

The latest in a series of public consultation webinars into redevelopment plans heard from venue operator Live Nation’s chief operating officer Graham Walters about how the new arena will be operated and managed.

Following a question from a member of the public as part of a Q&A session, he detailed how they are looking to celebrate the rich musical heritage and history of Cardiff and Wales at the state-of-the-art new venue.

‘Nothing’ 

It was put to him that: “Wales is renowned as the land of song, yet there is nothing for visitors to the city to discover to inform them of the unique cultural and contemporary musical history of Wales. I believe you have a great opportunity to develop a tourist attraction that would create extra revenue into the arena.

“If you want people to come early and stay late then this would be an ideal opportunity to increase footfall and embellish the arena’s reputation as a must visit, both day and night.

“It would also be a tangible link between the local community and the arena as well as serve as an educational opportunity. Do you believe something like this would be possible?’

In response he said: “Yes I do. It forms part of the overall masterplan and the way we’re looking to connect and work with the Wales Millennium Centre, stakeholders in the Bay, residents in Butetown and the new museum that’s planned to open.

“Absolutely we recognise the heritage and history that Cardiff offers and we will try and build that into the design and look of the arena through the materials and the finishes, but we will also have space to curate some degree of art, music and heritage displays that can all be fed into the infrastructure in that area (of the arena).

“It’s a key area that we can work on and certainly our partner architects are looking at these elements already and we’ll develop that through the planning phase and consultation with the local residents and the city as a whole.”

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Llewelyn
Llewelyn
2 months ago

If the North of Cardiff feels like that…..just think how us in North Wales feel! ANNIBYNIOL I GOGGLEDD CYMRU O CAERDYDD!

Adam
Adam
2 months ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

Llyr Gruffydd made those comments, member of senedd for the North Wales Region.

Stephen George
Stephen George
2 months ago

I really don’t think it’s a good look for a Plaid politician to foster a grievance culture between the North and the South. Don’t complain next time the tories do it. And I speak as a Plaid member.

Chris
Chris
2 months ago
Reply to  Stephen George

Fostering a grievance culture or addressing grievances that already exists? Telling yr ogledd to pipe down will not make this legitimate sense of unfairness go away. I speak as someone from South Wales. It’s an embarrassment how much Cardiff ignores the north. This plays into unionist hands. It keeps a wedge between the halves of our nation. The capital of North Wales may as well be Liverpool, of Mid Wales Birmingham and of South Wales, Bristol (but with Cardiff as second capital.
to separate from the Hanoverian union, we must unify our nation first

Last edited 2 months ago by Chris
Stephen George
Stephen George
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris

I may be wrong, but this is not a development funded by the Welsh Government. Any funding will come from the private sector and, if there is public spending, from Cardiff Council. If any of the local authorities in the north want to build such an arena I assume they could do things in the same way? If this was a decision to spend part of the Welsh budget on Cardiff at the expense of the north then the criticism would be reasonable. But it’s not. Also, as a Cardiff taxpayer I might well feel that this is a waste… Read more »

Chris
Chris
2 months ago
Reply to  Stephen George

You make a good point. It is a private development and we must be careful of creating division.
Mind you Y Senedd can certainly influence where things are built via tax benefits and gov support and more than avoiding causing division, we need to heal divisions which exist already
So as a general rule I maintain that gov monies should be used to
1. Ensure that new infrastructure joins north to south within our borders
2. Invests more in projects away from the SE

Mandi A
Mandi A
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Da iawn Chris, is it Mr T Matthews putting his hand in his pocket again, or is it more to do with Cardiff Enterprise Zone and a certain cosy relationship with the Chief Exec of the Senedd? Ask many questions, read and spit out many business plans, and watch outflows of Senedd money.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
2 months ago

Wales is in effect governed by a party (Welsh Labour) that is firmly rooted in SE Wales. They do therefore need to make special efforts to demonstrate that the infrastructure needs of all parts of our country are given proper consideration. Isn’t there a Wales infrastructure commission? Their role should surely include ensuring fair distribution of infrastructure investment according to local and regional needs.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 months ago

Llyr lives in Ruthin, population 5,000. Where does he think the 15,000 paying punters to fill an arena are coming from? It is simple economics that big venues get built where big populations provide big audiences.

Glen
Glen
2 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

1.5m people live within 30 minutes of Cardiff.

Chris
Chris
2 months ago
Reply to  Glen

1.5m people also live within 30 minutes of Bridgend

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Spot on Chris, I remember the outcry from the City State Nation when the WRU wanted to relocate the National Rugby Stadium to Island Farm Bridgend.Back in 1997 Swansea was the only Metropolitan area in Wales that voted for Devolution and Swansea Council offered to house The Assembly in The Guildhall free of charge.Of course it was opposed by the City State Nation with the £40 Million pound building in The Bay.Money that could have been used to build 2 hospitals in North and South Wales.

Jack
Jack
2 months ago

Whilst I can understand how northern Wales is lacking in developments of this nature, I really struggle to imagine where a 15,000 capacity arena would go in the North, without it being seen as a massive white elephant project that would never actually get used. It simply doesn’t have a big enough population.
The entire population of Caernarfon would fit into a 15,000 seat arena with room to spare.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jack
Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
2 months ago
Reply to  Jack

You obviously haven’t heard of Wrexham and Deeside

David Jones
David Jones
2 months ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

Which is right next to Liverpool and already served by its arenas.

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
2 months ago

As England is Londoncentric, Wales is Cardiffcentric. Bothered capitals and centres of Parliament thus they get all that’s going.

Martin Owen
Martin Owen
2 months ago

I hear people make the argument that Wales should not be independent because the economy is reliant on London. I always reply that as long as we are nonindependent that will always remain the case and thus it is the strongest argument for independence. In this case we are told “The North can’t support such a venture”. My own argument would holding this case too. However I don’t think we would just take something suitable for Cardiff and plonk it in Eirias Park. North Wales would want and need a different kind of infrastructure -designed with the needs of the… Read more »

David Jones
David Jones
2 months ago

The problem with this sort of complaint is that it doesn’t distinguish between private and public funding (or local or national funding, for that matter). If you look at how the Welsh Govt allocates its funding, its hard to argue there is a skew towards Cardiff. Funding per person for local government, for example, is I believe lower than the Wales average. And recent years has seen capital investment in roads, rail, hospitals and schools right across Wales, with the only road scheme of any size for probably 25 years in the capital being the 1 mile stretch down the… Read more »

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