Six Nations: Struggling Cardiff businesses hope for lifeline

City Arms
Research estimates each Six Nations game played in Cardiff boosts Wales' economy by more than £20m

Hospitality businesses in Cardiff say many would "struggle to survive" without big events like the Six Nations being held there.

This year's tournament comes after one of the "worst periods" the industry's ever seen, a leading trade body said.

In attracting hundreds of thousands of people to the capital it is hoped a lifeline will be thrown to struggling venues.

More than 4,000 in England and Wales went bust in 2023 - a 30-year high.

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality described the situation as a "perfect storm".

"There's a tsunami of rising costs that are going into businesses, notably energy, food, price, inflation and wages," she said.

"At the same time a cost-of-living squeeze means customers are not going out frequently or spending as much."

As a result many businesses, she added, were "running out of road and are unable to remain viable".

Examples of that bleak insider forecast include Cardiff's Kindle and The Brass Beetle, along with The Conway pub in Pontcanna, all of which recently shut their doors.

But three home games at the Principality Stadium, kicking off on Saturday with Wales taking on Scotland, should provide a much-needed boost to trade.

For Gary Corp of The City Arms that cannot come soon enough.

Gary Corp
The City Arms's Gary Corp said businesses would "struggle to survive" without events like the Six Nations

"It's been a long time coming and I think everybody is just geared up for it," said Mr Corp, whose pub has long been a match day staple.

"Times are really difficult what with the cost of living rising, so you've got to have something to look forward to."

"These big events mean such a lot - we'd struggle to survive without them," Mr Corp added.

Research estimates each Six Nations game played in Cardiff boosts Wales' economy by more than £20m.

Former sponsor RBS estimated the 2017 tournament - where Wales played two games at home - brought £52m worth of revenue to the country.

David Atkins is the director of The Glamorgan Brewing Company, which supplies the stadium with ale.

The Six Nations gives his business a 20,000-pint boost at a time when its energy costs have increased by 250%.

"It's great for us in terms of the volumes that go into the stadium, but also for the whole of the community, namely the pubs and clubs that we supply - it's a big lift for their business," he said.

"The trade has really been suffering but an early home game should mean a big benefit to our customers' takings".