Next year marks an important milestone in Arup’s history in Wales – we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our office in Cardiff. For me, this underlines our commitment to the vibrant Cardiff Capital Region economy and provides an opportunity to reflect on the role we have played in shaping Wales over the last half century.
Established in 1970, our office has grown from a handful of staff when it opened, to become home to over 400 engineers, planners, digital experts and specialist technical advisors. Having this base in Cardiff gives us a local knowledge and perspective that – in my view – is invaluable, while our position as part of a global professional services firm allows us to draw on a wider skill set and breadth of experience when required.
We’re incredibly proud that our contribution to Wales over the years has been significant. It includes work on the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff’s new business district at Central Square and infrastructure projects such as the dualling of the A465 ‘Heads of the Valleys’ road. We have also worked extensively with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to maintain and improve its assets and develop award-winning sustainable drainage schemes such as Greener Grangetown, as well as providing strategic thinking on long-term resilience and flood defenses. Our advisory work has helped to shape many elements of Welsh planning policy, including Welsh transport appraisal guidance and the Welsh Government’s strategy for onshore wind.
Looking ahead, I can only see continued growth in Cardiff and across Wales. I’m delighted that Wales is leading the UK in its commitment to ensuring that growth is sustainable with legislation such as the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. This is something that very much aligns with our values at Arup.