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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 February, 2003, 19:44 GMT
Cardiff is 'capital city of booze'
Cardiff's licensed trade is worth 241m a year
Cardiff's licensed trade is worth 241m a year
Cardiff is in danger of becoming the UK capital of binge drinking, according to an alcohol and drugs charity.

Revellers in the Welsh capital spend 241m annually on alcohol - significantly higher than cities such as Bristol, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

A new report by Cardiff commercial property agents Stephenson and Alexander called A Capital Nightlife: The Future of Cardiff City Centre's Licensed Property Market, highlights Cardiff's growing pub and club trade.

But a Welsh alcohol and drugs charity says the report's finding show that a wider range of leisure facilities are needed in the city.

The report says the Millennium Stadium has been the major factor in bringing vast numbers of revellers to the city.

Cardiff is in danger of becoming known for binge drinking and violence associated with it
Iestyn Davies, Welsh Council

The report's author Peter Clarke said: "Cardiff's city centre licensed market exploded into life around the focus of the new Millennium Stadium in 1999."

Mr Clarke, a partner with Stephenson and Alexander, added: "It may well be that a couple of super pubs in the city centre will disappear but something equally interesting will take their place.

"Many of the major breweries report their sales exceed most of their other UK city centre outlets.

"When compared with other centres - such as Bristol, Edinburgh and Birmingham - Cardiff appears well stocked with super-pubs and may appear over-pubbed."

St Mary Street
St Mary Street is at the heart of the city's nightlife
But Iestyn Davies, of the Welsh Council on Alcohol and Other Drugs, said: "Cardiff is becoming the capital city of booze.

"This might cater very well to a younger market and to the sporting punter in particular but doesn't present the image of a diverse and culturally-rich city that can cater for the wide-ranging leisure market.

"The report begs the question 'what kind of capital city do we want?'.

"Cardiff is in danger of becoming known for binge drinking and violence associated with it.

"The City authority with the support of the Welsh Assembly Government needs to examine the future of Cardiff's licensing system in order to assure all its citizens that they live in a capital city that we all can be proud of."

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