27 March 2012

Newport City Centre New Development Plan

In South Wales, the newest city of Newport has just been approved a plan worth £100m in the area of Friars Walk for John Frost Square.

The new development will include a new shopping centre with a six-screen cinema and eight restaurants among other smaller businesses opening. Furthermore a car park with 360 spaces will be built.  As a result, it was stated by the developers that the development will create more than 1,100 new jobs.
Dr Jonathan Deacon from Newport Business School said the development was "absolutely critical" for Newport City and will secure sustainability in the next 10 or 15 years. Furthermore, he stated that:  "It's about whether or not we're going to save our city centre and the retail experience that we've had for generations. I think we're on a knife edge," he told BBC Wales.

In the economic context and the city position's it derives that it is almost directly competing with Cardiff as one of the biggest retail shopping centres, and to the east in England there is Cabot Circus in Bristol which is not too far, furthermore Cwmbran with its high street businesses, are all competing for customers which historically tend to attract Newport residents. Following this new investment and emphasis the city will benefit greatly and its economy.

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan stated that is was excellent news for Newport. "This is a game-changer for the city and is crucial to creating employment opportunities and sustaining small and medium sized businesses," she said.

"I would hope that this new development will serve as a catalyst to attract further private sector investment into Newport, that will help to build a stronger economy, promote local business and support jobs.