The teams cleaning up Cardiff city centre ahead of non-essential retail stores reopening

A cleaning team in Cardiff has been working hard to prepare the city centre for the wider reopening of non-essential retail stores on Monday.

In Wales, non-essential retail can reopen on April 12 after stores were closed as part of the Level 4 lockdown.

The cleaning team at FOR Cardiff, part of Cardiff's Business Improvement District, have been cleaning Cardiff's streets for years.

The team usually begins their working days at 5am, jet-washing areas clean, removing gum and litter and refreshing paintwork in various parts of the city.

The cleaning team has also been removing graffiti in some spots.

James Palmer, FOR Cardiff said: "It's most important because with the public coming back and forth we're trying to get trade back in when the shops open on Monday and make it fresh and appealing to people coming to town centre."

James has been in charge of jet-washing areas across the city centre and says it's a rewarding job, with people often coming up to the cleaning team to thank them for their efforts.

He continued: "Most of the work I do is when everyone is in bed. Then when people are in the town centre and they see us, some of them stop and say 'What a brilliant job you've done'".

The team has been cleaning the streets in Cardiff city centre for years.

Clean up operations have taken place across Wales recently after the warm weather saw people leave litter behind at beauty spots across the country.

A clean-up operation was recently underway in Cardiff Bay after 'hundreds of people 'gathered in front of the Senedd in early April.

Huge crowds were seen drinking and playing music outside the Welsh Parliament building - despite Covid restrictions only allowing six people from two households to meet outside while maintaining social distancing.

Cardiff Council said a number of rules were broken in the "illegal" gathering.

Teams had to clean up large amounts of bottles, beer crates, food wrappers and plastic bags left behind.

Non-essential retail will be able to reopen in Wales from April 12.

Across Wales, businesses big and small are wrestling with the impact of the pandemic and wider pressures.

Retailers are also hoping that by cleaning the areas around the stores, it will help to entice people back also.

Adrian Field, FOR Cardiff said: "We've lost some well-known chains and it's been a big struggle for independents too. No doubt about it.

"I think the high street was facing a challenge before covered happened and I think this is just accelerated it probably 10-fold so you know the high street needed to evolve more experiential and the work that we're doing hopefully makes that more enticing makes people feel comfortable.

"I think the cleansing is a really important part of that."

Retailers are hoping the effort to clean Cardiff's streets will help to bring shoppers back once more stores are able to reopen.