As you know, we took the decision to postpone 4theRegion’s second annual City Centre Conference on March 13th when the hazards of bringing large numbers of people together were starting to become clear. In the two weeks since then, any disappointment at the postponement of social, sporting and business events has faded into insignificance in the light of what we now understand about the looming health crisis and its impact on our economy and our day to day lives.

Like all of you, we have families and friends we love. And like all of you we’re committed not only to keeping them safe during this challenging time, but also to helping them make their lives as full and prosperous as possible in the years to come. We’re going to take steps towards that by keeping in contact with friends, colleagues and business partners day by day. We’re going to draw on the optimism and strength in our communities and lend our own optimism and strength to anyone who needs it. Above all we’re going to keep reminding ourselves and others that this region has a future, and a bright one.

With that in mind, we’re going ahead with a repurposed Swansea City Centre Conference next Tuesday. From 1pm to 3pm we’ll live-stream conversations with our partners and sponsors about the challenges we’re facing today and what the future holds for our city centre. We’ll be sending you links and further information over the coming days, and we’ll be seeking your feedback.

We’ll also be going live with an experimental online Virtual City Centre Exhibition courtesy of 4theRegion member iCreate, so you can browse and interact with organisations and businesses who planned to be part of our original exhibition.

So Tuesday will see conversations about all of our futures with our city’s thought-leaders and changemakers, and you can join them on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Swansea residents, businesspeople, and community leaders – people who care about the future of Swansea City Centre – can play their part in this event.

We’re not going to insult your intelligence by telling you it’s business as usual at 4theRegion. What’s happening to all of us is very, very unusual and it’d be foolish to turn a blind eye to that. What we can tell you is that we still believe 100% in our mission to bring people together and help move South West Wales forward in the 2020s. Above all, we’re still listening. Next Tuesday from 1pm to 3pm we’ll be listening to voices of knowledge and authority in our local business community and if you listen along with us we think you’ll find it worthwhile.

None of us have experienced anything like this before. We don’t know how long our society and economy will be constrained the way it is today, but we do know this will pass. There will be better days. They are just over the horizon, and next Tuesday we’ll be looking out for them. Join us.

Please share with your network!