ASBESTOS has been found and removed from Newport Market, the Argus has learned.

But Newport council said there was no risk to the health of shoppers or traders while the removal was carried out.

"Asbestos-containing material" was discovered during refurbishment works being carried out at the shopping venue, according to the authority.

A spokeswoman said work was immediately stopped until a specialist firm could be brought in to remove the material safely.

"As this area was already closed off because of the refurbishment work, there was no risk to the health of shoppers or traders while the removal was carried out," the spokeswoman said.

Work is now complete and although it did cause a delay the Newport Market project is due for completion this summer.

Costs for removing the asbestos will be covered by the budget for the scheme - said in 2012 to be £750,000.

A formal written answer to David Fouweather from Newport cabinet members John Richards and Mark Whitcutt said the health and safety executive had to be notified, adding a four week delay.

He was told it was "highly unlikely" any more asbestos will be found in the market, and that the project is due for completion in mid-July.

He was told there had been structural issues that had slowed down the progress within the market, as well as the discovery of asbestos.

Traders have been informed the reasons for the delays, Cllr Fouweather was told.

"The architects and engineers produced what they thought were suitable plans for particular areas of the market," the cabinet members said.

"However upon breaking out these areas, they have discovered a number of surprising elements of design, which has subsequently led to a re-design by the architects and engineers."

The market refurbishment aims to regenerate the High Street end of the city centre, enhance the grade-II listed building with new units to encourage restaurants and cafes to move in.