The economic heart of Wales, Cardiff is an exciting blend of both historical interest and future developments. As well as being the centre of government for the whole country, it also fulfils the role of a regional centre, providing retail, financial and professional services, and cultural and leisure facilities to the surrounding area. Growing rapidly during the latter part of the 19th Century - mainly as a seaport exporting coal from the South Wales valleys - Cardiff could realistically have been described as the ‘energy capital of the world’ at this time. Recently recovering from the depression caused by the decline of the traditional industries, Cardiff has been successful in diversifying the economy, and as a consequence, the central and local government and other agencies have undertaken a wide range of initiatives to attract inward investment and employment growth. This has resulted in an enviable record of inward investment in South Wales – despite fierce competition at national and international level. As well as being an important administrative centre, Cardiff is the educational centre of Wales, housing Cardiff University, the University of Wales College of Medicine, the Welsh University of Music and drama and Cardiff Business School. Situated in Cathays Park at the heart of the city, it is long regarded as one of the masterpieces of Edwardian town planning. Nearby parkland stretches from around the Victorian castle to the Norman Cathedral at Llandaff, more than two miles away, exemplifying the overall attractiveness of the layout of the city.