Back in 1980, Cardiff - if not quite dead yet - was at least banging on death's door pleading to be let in. The coal industry was seemingly finished and there appeared little prospect of large-scale employment being created in any other sector. But then the decision was made to revive the docks - it would prove to be either deluded optimism or a stroke of economic genius. Fortunately, it proved to be the latter. And now Cardiff can sit proud as one of the UK's most successful economies.
The overhaul of the docks sparked a number of other revivals in the economy and infrastructure of the Welsh Capital and today one can look to the Welsh Assembly building, the St David's shopping centre, the International Sports Village - even Dr Who (the programmes are made in Cardiff) - as symbols of the city's success. The physical sea, road and rail links have been complemented by telecommunications infrastructure that has attracted many new media and bioscience companies. Finance, innovation and advanced engineering are just some of the other business sectors now operating from Cardiff.
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Dr Who, Torchwood and Casualty are just three of the more visible signs of the city's media industries. BBC Wales has championed the media sector of the city which contributes an estimated £25m to the local economy. The Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Studies (part of the University of Glamorgan) invested in an Atrium campus which has helped produce some of the most exciting UK talent in this industry. Journalism, film, drama, art, music and other aspects of the media are all studied here and many local firms have sprung up to make use of that talent.
Cardiff University is the magnet that has drawn more than a hundred bioscience firms to this corner of Wales. The likes of Shaw Healthcare, Genesis Biosciences and Cesagen make good use of the highly skilled post graduates working in a range of science fields from genetics to ageing.