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Swansea makes objections clear over 'Cardiff' branding idea

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: March 20, 2013

  • A TALE OF TWO CITIES How do you think Swansea compares with Cardiff (inset)?

Comments (17)

A PROPOSAL to rename Swansea as Cardiff, in order the promote the regions locally, has been firmly rejected by people living in Wales's second city.

The suggestion, from Wales's first billionaire, was broadcast in an interview for the Week In Week Out programme on BBC Wales last night.

Sir Terry Matthews, who admitted his idea would be controversial, said: "If I was king, I would go [from] Swansea to Newport and I'd circle it and include the valleys. I'd say that's Cardiff."

But perhaps predictably, the proposal has met with a muted response in Swansea.

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Tony McGetrick, chair of Tourism Swansea Bay, said: "It is an interesting philosophy, and I can see the benefit for Newport, as the area suits the Cardiff model more.

"It still has quite an industrial background there, and it is only 15 miles from Cardiff.

"But I think it would be pushing it for Swansea.

"You have to go through a couple of counties first, and Cardiff is more about the city centre experience, where in Swansea we have leisure.

"Swansea's profile has never been higher either, particularly with the success of the Swans.

"With the possibility of Cardiff reaching the Premier League, I'm not sure how well the idea of a Cardiff Cardiff team and a Cardiff Swansea team would go down!"

Swansea's Business Improvement District, which has worked hard to promote the city centre, was also sceptical about the proposal.

Its chief executive Russell Greenslade said: "'I am sure Sir Terry Matthews is correct in what he says in that his idea would be controversial.

"His comments seem more focused on the Newport/Valleys region coming under Cardiff though, rather than Swansea.

"Interesting as the comments may be, we remain focused on working collaboratively to make Swansea city centre a better place to live, shop, visit, work and do business and look forward to hearing more regarding the Welsh Government regional projects in due course."

A Swansea University graduate, Newport-born Sir Terry claimed South East Wales should promote itself to the world as "Cardiff, the brand".

But Peter Jones, chairman of Swansea futures, said: "He seems to be unaware of what is going on in the region.

"There is a huge amount going on, which I believe can be the catalyst to regeneration, such as the university science innovation in Fabian Way, which will have huge regional benefits.

"There will be significant partnerships as well, with Tata and Rolls Royce, and the potential creation of up to 10,000 jobs."

Meanwhile, the response from readers of the Evening Post website was more robust.

Abertawejack wrote: "Swansea will always be another city in Wales, we have our own identity but alas not the funding or (sometimes) respect from Cardiff Bay AMs, yet we are holding our own here. Investment is indeed, starting to wake up around our city."

AndyJenkins84 added: "I see what he's saying in regards to building on particular strong brands, and this may help Newport, but he's thinking too small if he thinks that pretty much all of South Wales should come under the Cardiff brand. The best way to boost the economy is to develop multiple 'brands' — Cardiff and Swansea as the twin key players in South Wales would be stronger (and make more sense) than a single brand."

And clarysage50 added: "Who on earth is this joker? Is he unwell? "Obviously he is someone who appears uneducated in the region's history!"

The idea comes as the Welsh Government examines how a South East Wales city-region might operate.

Admitting his idea would be controversial, Sir Terry, who was speaking from his corporate headquarters in Ottawa, Canada, said: "If Newport was a region of Cardiff it would do better economically. "Many people won't like these words but I believe this started a long time ago — size matters."

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17 comments

  • LarsML  |  July 14 2013, 2:08PM

    Over time , i think Swansea will grow into The Barcelona of the south west part of England. not only because of the Football, but the area, with those beautifull 10 top world ranked Beach. so much opportionity. everything from build out the harbour, from a geographic point of view pumping billions of £ into swansea town , maybe not seems the best investment cause of random number of people ,unemployment, but the city got a huges incresement in tourism after Jenkins and Laudrups Swansea has place the city on the world map for seriouse. i like Terry Matthews, he comes up with ideas there first seems a bit crazy, but in the end of the day it makes some sense. i dont know if he indicate that cardiff and swansea should fusion and become one of hell powerful club. but dont think the fans ever will allow that. This Swansea fairytale, will effect the Swansea town growing the town into a beutifull city(right now are the town center a bit boring and grey) but know says it will not change in the future, and turn the city into englands and wales answer to Barcelona. (pardon my english) i know if i was a billionaire, i would spend alot on the city, and on football club ;) Best Regard Lars ML.

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  • Leonsingh  |  March 21 2013, 10:58AM

    absolutely terrible idea, I would rather move to England than have Cardiff on my address, not because of the football, because ALL the money stops in Cardiff !! They had to artificially make the bay, ours is beautiful and natural, Swansea has a much better layout and balance than Cardiff and I'm sure if the money is shared equally, we will develop more and more ! No way to the Cardiff re-name !

    |   3
  • Leonsingh  |  March 21 2013, 10:58AM

    absolutely terrible idea, I would rather move to England than have Cardiff on my address, not because of the football, because ALL the money stops in Cardiff !! They had to artificially make the bay, ours is beautiful and natural, Swansea has a much better layout and balance than Cardiff and I'm sure if the money is shared equally, we will develop more and more ! No way to the Cardiff re-name !

  • Mr_Reality  |  March 20 2013, 11:11PM

    Edwina Hart? And other local M.P's and A.M's? I always remember being utterly perplexed how that shameless woman had the bare faced cheek to sit on her hands at the very same time Singleton Hospital was desperately screaming out for a cancer scanner? Too busy thinking of and prioritising Cardiff at the expence of the people who elected her! The Singleton issue was widely known to all health professionals in that specific field of medicine and the situation got so appallingly bad that one of the areas's most respected and renowned oncologists selflessly resigned in protest putting his own patients before his own career. The utter incapability for some politicians to grasp reality and become a 'Real-World' dweller is beyond complete and utter comprehension. They would quite literally put/and have put a grandiose white elephant(s) before people lives!

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  • jackman  |  March 20 2013, 7:24PM

    If Mr. Matthews wants a big brand why not go further? We could include the middle, west and North to create a huge brand identity. We could even call it... 'Wales'.

    |   8
  • jackman  |  March 20 2013, 7:23PM

    If Mr. Matthews wants a big brand why not go further? We could include the middle, west and North to create a huge brand identity. We could even call it... 'Wales'.

    |   8
  • jackman  |  March 20 2013, 7:23PM

    If Mr. Matthews wants a big brand why not go further? We could include the middle, west and North to create a huge brand identity. We could even call it... 'Wales'.

    |   9
  • GorsseinonJoe  |  March 20 2013, 7:11PM

    Obviously, the more money you get the fewer brain cells are left, probably because he is "counting out his money in his counting house". Swansea floated the idea of becoming a Greater Swansea when it first got city status, it was kicked into the long grass by Neath/Port Talbot and Llanelli, if my memory serves me. Just as well Terry Matthews isn't king. Could it be that Cardiff are suffering a jealousy attack as the Swans and Swansea get more attention, press wise, nationally than the "capital" city? As for Mrs (ego) Hart, she's done nothing but further he own interests in the WAG so far, so no surprises she has come up with this expensive idea when it was the Labour councils who closed down the Mumbles tram in Swansea and the bus trams in Cardiff.

    |   3
  • GorsseinonJoe  |  March 20 2013, 7:10PM

    Obviously, the more money you get the fewer brain cells are left, probably because he is "counting out his money in his counting house". Swansea floated the idea of becoming a Greater Swansea when it first got city status, it was kicked into the long grass by Neath/Port Talbot and Llanelli, if my memory serves me. Just as well Terry Matthews isn't king. Could it be that Cardiff are suffering a jealousy attack as the Swans and Swansea get more attention, press wise, nationally than the "capital" city? As for Mrs (ego) Hart, she's done nothing but further he own interests in the WAG so far, so no surprises she has come up with this expensive idea when it was the Labour councils who closed down the Mumbles tram in Swansea and the bus trams in Cardiff.

    |   3
  • Lezz_T  |  March 20 2013, 6:17PM

    The reality is we in South Wales are all part of "Greater Cardiff" anyway. We all regularly go to Cardiff for things like shopping, work, entertainment, ice skating, major sporting events etc. Swansea being part of Cardiff is no different from say Bolton being part of Greater Manchester. Some people need to get over their petty tribalism.

    |   -17

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