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FOR Cardiff wins International Excellence Award for City of Arcades campaign

The City of Arcades, the campaign we developed for our client FOR Cardiff, has been recognised by the International Downtown Association (IDA) at its 65th Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD this week with a Downtown Achievement Award of Excellence.

The IDA is the premier organisation for urban place professionals engaged in shaping and activating dynamic city center districts across the world.  The award acknowledges FOR Cardiff’s outstanding work in promoting and celebrating Cardiff’s seven beautiful Victorian arcades and the 100 plus independent businesses who trade within them.

Adrian Field, Executive Director of FOR Cardiff said: “The IDA is a global thought leader in the regeneration of urban areas. To be the only organisation to win an award from outside the USA is remarkable. The campaign has helped increase footfall into the arcades and increase sales for businesses.

“As well as this visible impact, the campaign has been embraced by business and residents across the city who love our unique shopping experience and independent businesses. The City of Arcades campaign is just one of the many initiatives we’ve developed since we were voted in by the businesses of Cardiff in 2016. I couldn’t be more proud of our team for this achievement.”

David Downey, IDA President and CEO said: “FOR Cardiff’s project received the IDA Award of Excellence for uniquely implementing best practice in urban place management. The City of Arcades campaign is a shining example of excellent urban place management delivering real value to the city and an exemplary response to a community challenge.”


Vicki Spencer-Francis, MD of Cowshed said: “The whole team is over the moon to see the City of Arcades, a campaign focussed on promoting local and independent businesses, gain international recognition. Fully integrated campaigns like this one, takes real team effort between FOR Cardiff and Cowshed, backed by businesses and championed by residents. We are now planning the inaugural City of Arcades Day to boost footfall ahead of Christmas and continue to raise the city’s profile as a unique shopping destination.”

Since its launch in 2018, The City of Arcades campaign has been recognised at numerous industry awards including CIPR Excellence and Chartered Institute of Marketing awards. The campaign is now gearing up for the first City of Arcades Day on 16 November. A day which will see over 50 independent businesses bring special offers and entertainment across the city.

Washington, DC-based IDA is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. FOR Cardiff is Business Improvement District for Cardiff, representing the interests of business owners in the city.

To find out more about City of Arcades Day, visit

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