THEY'VE only been on the market since Saturday but sales worth just under half a million pounds have already been agreed on five new flats at the former Newport Art College.

Reservations have been made on two one-bedroom and three two-bedroom flats - and the agents dealing with the sale say the first people could be moving in six weeks time.

The Argus reported last week that 66 apartments in the once derelict and rat-infested grade-II listed college, which closed in the 1990s, were now up for sale following a conversion of the building.

A total of 250 brochures were given out when people came to view the properties last weekend, according to Cardiff agents Savills.

Sales were agreed for five flats worth just under half a million pounds of sales - two with first-time buyers and three with people looking to downsize.

Three of the flats are "mezzanine"-type apartments where bedrooms overlook the lounge space.

Lisa Howells, head of residential development sales at Savills, says there has been a lot of local interest in the scheme generated in part by the Argus' article on the renovation.

She said Savills has a book of further appointments with people interested in the flats, and that the art college will now be open Thursdays to Mondays every week, from 10.30am to 5pm.

She said the agents hoped to move the first people in in six weeks time.

The restoration of the Newport Art college was long awaited after the building became derelict in the 1990s.

The art school moved to Caerleon in the 1990s and the building, left empty, was hit by a succession of arson attacks.

Plans emerged in 2003 to turn it into 63 flats but work didn't begin to safeguard the site until 2007.

After previous owners faced financial troubles receivers took over the building to complete the renovation.Prices for the apartments range from £69,995 to £150,000.