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Newport is changing dramatically – and the change is for the better.

Wales’ third largest city is undergoing one of the most significant regeneration programmes in the UK, with investments potentially totalling £2 billion by 2020.

In November 2015, the city celebrated the opening of Friars Walk – a £90 million retail and leisure development in the city centre, which was the result of a private-public sector partnership. It was built with loan funding secured by Newport City Council, in a bold move that has proved a catalyst for further investment.

Under the Vibrant and Viable Places (VVP) programme, landmark city centre properties are being transformed and converted into new living accommodation and

attractive commercial space. The Council was awarded £15 million by Welsh Government under its VVP regeneration funding framework, which is expected to lead to a total investment of £60 million in the city centre.

The Council has also become the first in Wales to introduce a Local Development Order (LDO) to streamline the planning process and further bolster commercial activity in the city centre.

Scarborough Development Group has announced an additional scheme to redevelop an area adjacent to its Admiral House project, the new regional home to Admiral insurance, with more office, retail and restaurant space in the pipeline.

Meanwhile planning consent has been given for a £60m regeneration project by the Fear Group on Newport’s riverfront, which includes

a student village, new homes and a four star hotel on the site of a former Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Planning permission has been granted for the Wales International Convention Centre at the Celtic Manor Resort. Designed to attract major events from across the world, the exhibition hall and associated facilities will have a daily capacity for 4,000 delegates.

The economy is also set to benefit from partnerships such as the new Newport Economic Network, Cardiff Capital Region, Great Western Cities and the proposed Cardiff City Deal. A city centre business improvement district, Newport NOW, has also been formed.

With ambition running high, planned investments, innovative businesses and sites ripe for development, Newport is truly a city on the rise.


Council staff are being encouraged to support the White Ribbon campaign which aims to tackle domestic abuse.

UNISON and GMB unions held an information day in the reception hall of the Civic Centre on November 25 – the day designated White Ribbon Day, the United Nation’s Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Both unions had stalls with a host of information for staff to visit throughout the day. The event was also backed by

councillors Debbie Wilcox, Deborah Davies and Gail Giles.

Steph Davies from UNISON said:

“We want to try to amend the current domestic abuse policy and are currently undertaking a survey to ask people for their thoughts on how to do this.

We need a more open culture so people, both men and women, will feel more comfortable asking for help if they find themselves victims of abuse.”

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10 For more news visit MATTERS JANUARY 2016

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