A DEVELOPER working on the redevelopment of Newport city centre said there could be an announcement on funding in the next few months.

Paul Sargent, partner at Queensberry Real Estate, said commercial terms have been agreed with four as yet unnamed restaurants for the £100 million Friars Walk scheme and more lets are set to be announced in the new year.

Mr Sargeant said he was unable to discuss how much of Friars Walk was pre-let, and could not say how much would need to be pre-let before funding would be secured.

Both issues are commercially sensitive, with discussions with potential investors continuing.

The Queensberry partner said they hoped to be in a position to make an update on financial backing in March.

The Argus had understood that funding was meant to be in place by the end of December this year.

Mr Sargeant denied there was a delay to the project.

“It’s on track. There are several pre-lets with lawyers at the moment,” he said. “There will be announcements at the end of January and beginning of February on a couple of these big deals.”

The partner added there was a positive story about Newport.

“The plan is there. They have the right idea. We are impressed with the way that things have been put together in Newport.”

A city council spokesman, John Hollins, was quoted in the Washington Post last week saying a new developer is on board but has not signed up enough prospective tenants to secure financing. He later told the Argus the development needed a certain number of pre-let units before it starts.

Cineworld and Debenhams have already been announced as anchors for the scheme.