Your ideas wanted to boost Newport
10:52am Friday 16th August 2013 in News
THOUSANDS of people could be brought into the city centre every day if new schemes being developed by a Welsh Government-backed taskforce come to fruition.
That’s according to the Newport business development project chairman Simon Gibson, who has invited residents to present their vision in a Dragons Den-style event next month.
A website entitled reNewport is now live for members of the public to post their own big ideas of how the city centre can be improved.
Details of the taskforce’s projects are underwraps – however Mr Gibson has suggested they include new education and business opportunities for the centre.
Mr Gibson told the Argus that the city centre taskforce is “well into its work” on a number of projects for the business district since it was formed in May.
“Some of the projects are commercially sensitive and they are in stage of negotiation involving multiple parties,” he said, explaining the taskforce is also exploring Welsh Government funding options.
“We’re looking to enhance the city through commercial activity, innovation, learning and as a place to live and enjoy life.”
He said if the projects are successful “they could bring thousands of people into the city everyday” and could enhance the retail sector in the centre.
But in addition the the group's own work, Mr Gibson said the taskforce wants to "get the thoughts of a wider group of people. The best way of doing that in the modern age is online and via social networking.”
Mr Gibson, who is the chief executive of Sir Terry Matthew’s investment firm Wesley Clover, said the taskforce is not looking for complaints.
He said: “The question is, if it is down to you, what the one thing you would like to see happen in the city?
“If they like they can present the idea in person at the indoor market. The format will be like Dragons Den - they will be given five to six minutes to explain what their big idea is.”
Contributions won’t be judged like on the TV programme, but members of the taskforce will discuss which of them fit with “other things being planned,” Mr Gibson explained.
Ideas will be included in reports set to go back to the Welsh Government, and Mr Gibson said he was encouraged that a few had already been posted on the site within hours of it going live.
A discussion session will also take place for the city’s “stakeholder” institutions such as Newport Unlimited and the area’s housing association, with a separate event for the city’s politicians.
“We’re trying to spread the net as far as we can,” Mr Gibson said.
It is hoped that an interim report from the taskforce will be produced before the end of October.
The Indoor Market sessions will take place on September 12. For more information and to take part visit www.renewport.co.uk