By David Jones, surveyor, Hutchings and Thomas Chartered Surveyors, Newport
THE city of Newport and it would appear all surrounding areas are crawling with police and security people.
A selection of these have the traditional police head gear while others sport the fetching light blue Nato baseball variety of hat.
On every bridge over the motorway, including both Severn crossings, there are knots of these people resplendent in fluorescent jackets. Police vehicles from, it would seem, every force in the land, are also out on patrol.
This added to the grim-looking security fencing surrounding the Celtic Manor Resort leaves us in no doubt that something big is happening but what will be the legacy be after the police and security have packed up and moved on after the ‘Newport’ Nato Summit?
Well, for a start the spotlight seems to be more on Cardiff than Newport. So no change there.
It’s certainly a huge disappointment that the marketing and signs associated with the event didn’t big up Newport.
It would have been a real coup to have had Newport on the logo giving the city a lasting connection with what will most likely be a very significant Nato Summit meeting what with all that is going on currently around the globe.
Key decisions will be made which could have a significant effect on the world at the ‘Newport’ Nato Summit.
Nervous retailers and publicans have, I’m told, been advised to board up their units in case there is some Nato-related disorder.
However the feedback I am getting from these people is that they will not be taking this advice due to the potential lost trade and will be carrying on regardless.
Who needs even more closed looking retail units in the centre of our city?
The anti Nato protest people have been given a fair amount of publicity but the real action is due to start later in the week, so we shall just have to wait and see what happens. Longer term Newport will always have in its history that the Nato summit was held here but other than that I cannot see many other benefits coming our way.
Aside from the Nato Summit more positive things are happening in the city centre. The very welcome regular progress updates from Queensberry are pleasing. I am anticipating news that even more retailers are signed up soon for the Friars Walk Scheme!
In general the market has been indifferent the past eight weeks, which is not unusual given the summer holidays. However, a great office letting has happened in Newport circa 8,000 sq ft which is the biggest office letting outside of Admiral for a number of years. I’ll be able to provide more news on this very soon.
We have seen a real improvement in the office market with occupiers outside of Newport locating them selves here in the city. This has not happened for a number of years and hopefully is a positive sign that things are indeed changing for the better.
Newport County’s marvellous win at Portsmouth last weekend, the first of the new season, is also very welcome news.
Up the ‘Port