Picture shows changing face of Newport centre as John Frost Square is demolished

South Wales Argus: Demolition of Kingsway bus station and shops continues. Building site on the site of the old Bus station as work continues (3185108) Demolition of Kingsway bus station and shops continues. Building site on the site of the old Bus station as work continues (3185108)

THIS is the scene in Newport city centre where demolition work for the £90 million Friars Walk development is gathering pace.

The shops that once stood at the rear of John Frost Square are now nowhere to be seen while the former bus station is being slowly torn down.

It is hoped that the work, which includes the demolition of the Capitol car park, will be finished in time for construction of Friars Walk to start in March next year.

Newport council has agreed to borrow £90 million to lend on to the developers behind the Friars Walk shopping centre to get it open within two years.

Earlier in 2013 the Argus reported workers had found hundreds of hypodermic syringes on the demolition site, while people had been caught in air ducts trying to strip out metal.

Specialist staff were brought in from the authority’s environmental team to clear the hazardous material.

Senior council officer Sheila Davies said she had also seen drug users trying to walk through the site to “do a reccy”.

The Welsh Government has provided £1.5 million in funding for the city centre demolition work in and around John Frost Square.

Comments (23)

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2:35pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Magor says...

Debenhams issue profits warning.New store opens in Hereford soon do they really need another in Newport?
Debenhams issue profits warning.New store opens in Hereford soon do they really need another in Newport? Magor

2:57pm Tue 31 Dec 13

lowandhardandinthecorner says...

Shhhhhhhhhhh!
Shhhhhhhhhhh! lowandhardandinthecorner

3:05pm Tue 31 Dec 13

ncfcr says...

Our Debenhams, which art in heaven.
Hallowed be thy name.
Our Debenhams, which art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. ncfcr

3:49pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Bobevans says...

Magor wrote:
Debenhams issue profits warning.New store opens in Hereford soon do they really need another in Newport?
In the light of the big drop in profits they are reviewing their new store opening program and many may not now go ahead. They will be watching the next few months sales figures very closely to see if there is any sign off improvement
[quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: Debenhams issue profits warning.New store opens in Hereford soon do they really need another in Newport?[/p][/quote]In the light of the big drop in profits they are reviewing their new store opening program and many may not now go ahead. They will be watching the next few months sales figures very closely to see if there is any sign off improvement Bobevans

6:13pm Tue 31 Dec 13

merlin the silure says...

destined to be a building site for many years to come methinks given the track record of our dear city council.
destined to be a building site for many years to come methinks given the track record of our dear city council. merlin the silure

6:24pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Exile Elmo says...

merlin the silure wrote:
destined to be a building site for many years to come methinks given the track record of our dear city council.
It was no much easier when you were in charge..
[quote][p][bold]merlin the silure[/bold] wrote: destined to be a building site for many years to come methinks given the track record of our dear city council.[/p][/quote]It was no much easier when you were in charge.. Exile Elmo

6:52pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Bobevans says...

One fact to consider is the High Street is a shrinking market . It is shrinking at about 2% a year so Newport will be building more shops and the only way to get custom is to taker market share from elsewhere.. Given Newport's dire track record. I do not see this happening people will continue to shop elsewhere and the Internet and out of town will continue to take market share from the High Street. Another problem is High Streets do not even want to open when most people can get to them. Internet is open 24/7 and out of town at least 9am to 8pm 6 days a week
One fact to consider is the High Street is a shrinking market . It is shrinking at about 2% a year so Newport will be building more shops and the only way to get custom is to taker market share from elsewhere.. Given Newport's dire track record. I do not see this happening people will continue to shop elsewhere and the Internet and out of town will continue to take market share from the High Street. Another problem is High Streets do not even want to open when most people can get to them. Internet is open 24/7 and out of town at least 9am to 8pm 6 days a week Bobevans

7:37pm Tue 31 Dec 13

goodolenewport says...

is that a few pieces of chartist mosaic in the rumble?
is that a few pieces of chartist mosaic in the rumble? goodolenewport

8:16pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Exile Elmo says...

As far as I can see it, if Debenhams goes tits up and the Queensbury deal falls through at least the eye sore car park and other empty shops will be gone at no cost to Newport. NCC will not have to go £90m in the hock and we will have a site ready for another developer to take over.

It could be worse.
As far as I can see it, if Debenhams goes tits up and the Queensbury deal falls through at least the eye sore car park and other empty shops will be gone at no cost to Newport. NCC will not have to go £90m in the hock and we will have a site ready for another developer to take over. It could be worse. Exile Elmo

9:28pm Tue 31 Dec 13

VoiceOfDaPort says...

At least we can cheer for our shops ever improving occupancy rate, well that is until they build the new ones to replace the one's demolished.
At least we can cheer for our shops ever improving occupancy rate, well that is until they build the new ones to replace the one's demolished. VoiceOfDaPort

9:48pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Exile Elmo says...

VoiceOfDaPort wrote:
At least we can cheer for our shops ever improving occupancy rate, well that is until they build the new ones to replace the one's demolished.
the poor state of the shops on Commercial St, no wonder tenants don't want to go in there. Bits are falling off them all the time.. always look up
[quote][p][bold]VoiceOfDaPort[/bold] wrote: At least we can cheer for our shops ever improving occupancy rate, well that is until they build the new ones to replace the one's demolished.[/p][/quote]the poor state of the shops on Commercial St, no wonder tenants don't want to go in there. Bits are falling off them all the time.. always look up Exile Elmo

10:42pm Tue 31 Dec 13

newportrules says...

Bobevans wrote:
Magor wrote:
Debenhams issue profits warning.New store opens in Hereford soon do they really need another in Newport?
In the light of the big drop in profits they are reviewing their new store opening program and many may not now go ahead. They will be watching the next few months sales figures very closely to see if there is any sign off improvement
I've checked many news sources and the only statements I can find are that Debenhams are planning to go ahead with growing their business - no mentions that they are planning to stop expansion plans or store opening programmes. Besides which, they have already signed contracts with the developers. They are also still expecting profits of £85m up to April 2014.
Extract from chief exec's statement "Looking forward, I expect conditions to remain highly competitive as we enter 2014. Everyone in the organisation is focused on improving performance and growing the business, building on the four pillars of our strategy which I remain confident will lead to success over the longer term."
[quote][p][bold]Bobevans[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: Debenhams issue profits warning.New store opens in Hereford soon do they really need another in Newport?[/p][/quote]In the light of the big drop in profits they are reviewing their new store opening program and many may not now go ahead. They will be watching the next few months sales figures very closely to see if there is any sign off improvement[/p][/quote]I've checked many news sources and the only statements I can find are that Debenhams are planning to go ahead with growing their business - no mentions that they are planning to stop expansion plans or store opening programmes. Besides which, they have already signed contracts with the developers. They are also still expecting profits of £85m up to April 2014. Extract from chief exec's statement "Looking forward, I expect conditions to remain highly competitive as we enter 2014. Everyone in the organisation is focused on improving performance and growing the business, building on the four pillars of our strategy which I remain confident will lead to success over the longer term." newportrules

11:00pm Tue 31 Dec 13

stjulians says...

I know that Debenhams are (in some respect) deemed to be a saviour of Newport (as it's the anchor store) and our City Centre but personally I don't like the shop, I do understand that having a department store should encourage other stores coming to the City Centre, and I do hope they do. My friends known me as championing Newport because I do, other than the last few months I would have sung Newport's praises until the cows come home, and if this redevelopment could be done in 2 months I'd be all over it, I just hope it's done quickly. The main aspect of the City Centre I want is an eating area, I don't think Newport will attract the shops I want to shop in, but please give me a socialable area to eat and meet friends. Like I have said before Newport won't attract designer retailers, it simply won't; and it's nothing against Newport but against all other cities close to other major City Centres, retailers are attracted to those and not surroundings areas... Newport can be striving again with the shops that 20% want, the shops that another 20% want, the fashion shops another 20% want, the eateries that another 20% want and the nightlife that the final 20% want... please cater for everyone, I'd happily shop in a decent high st fashion retailer, I'd eat in the 'eat out' restaurants 'of today', and drink in an area that isn't a mainstream chain.......
I know that Debenhams are (in some respect) deemed to be a saviour of Newport (as it's the anchor store) and our City Centre but personally I don't like the shop, I do understand that having a department store should encourage other stores coming to the City Centre, and I do hope they do. My friends known me as championing Newport because I do, other than the last few months I would have sung Newport's praises until the cows come home, and if this redevelopment could be done in 2 months I'd be all over it, I just hope it's done quickly. The main aspect of the City Centre I want is an eating area, I don't think Newport will attract the shops I want to shop in, but please give me a socialable area to eat and meet friends. Like I have said before Newport won't attract designer retailers, it simply won't; and it's nothing against Newport but against all other cities close to other major City Centres, retailers are attracted to those and not surroundings areas... Newport can be striving again with the shops that 20% want, the shops that another 20% want, the fashion shops another 20% want, the eateries that another 20% want and the nightlife that the final 20% want... please cater for everyone, I'd happily shop in a decent high st fashion retailer, I'd eat in the 'eat out' restaurants 'of today', and drink in an area that isn't a mainstream chain....... stjulians

11:35pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

Kind of an indictment of how grim real life is when people can't cope with it unless they are able to take drugs as a temporary escape. I don't see things improving in 2014, life only gets worse.
Kind of an indictment of how grim real life is when people can't cope with it unless they are able to take drugs as a temporary escape. I don't see things improving in 2014, life only gets worse. Katie Re-Registered

8:24am Wed 1 Jan 14

bobmech1 says...

News flash
Newport city residents left with 90 million headache as retail development fails to fulfil occupancy

Now that's a New Years prediction
That many people can see happening, especially with the Debenhams 25% loss of profit this Xmas, with at least another Christmas inbetween and the growth of on line shopping
News flash Newport city residents left with 90 million headache as retail development fails to fulfil occupancy Now that's a New Years prediction That many people can see happening, especially with the Debenhams 25% loss of profit this Xmas, with at least another Christmas inbetween and the growth of on line shopping bobmech1

10:53am Wed 1 Jan 14

foxy3rd says...

I just hope that the 20%drop in profits doesn't mean that the "town centre" won't be empty for years to come . I must admit We often go to Cwmbran shopping it's easier ,at least there are decent shops next door to each other,undercover,goo
d parking , it's so much better.
I sometimes feel guilty , but the council seem infatuated with the market and let the rest of town go to the dogs.
I just hope that the 20%drop in profits doesn't mean that the "town centre" won't be empty for years to come . I must admit We often go to Cwmbran shopping it's easier ,at least there are decent shops next door to each other,undercover,goo d parking , it's so much better. I sometimes feel guilty , but the council seem infatuated with the market and let the rest of town go to the dogs. foxy3rd

11:17am Wed 1 Jan 14

Heleninnewport says...

I too am delighted that the demolition work has finally started and that those dire buildings will be demolished,even if the development doesn't take place it could be turned into a green space with maybe a few restaurants as currently there is nowhere to go in the centre.
I too am delighted that the demolition work has finally started and that those dire buildings will be demolished,even if the development doesn't take place it could be turned into a green space with maybe a few restaurants as currently there is nowhere to go in the centre. Heleninnewport

2:07pm Wed 1 Jan 14

goodolenewport says...

maybe a Giligan's Island 2 ?
maybe a Giligan's Island 2 ? goodolenewport

5:55pm Wed 1 Jan 14

russ angel says...

There was never a Debenhams,it was supposed to be in the 80s never happened then never happen now and who cares the store is nothing special anyway.Bulldoze the whole lot who cares anymore it's over.Put it out of it's misery.
There was never a Debenhams,it was supposed to be in the 80s never happened then never happen now and who cares the store is nothing special anyway.Bulldoze the whole lot who cares anymore it's over.Put it out of it's misery. russ angel

7:33pm Wed 1 Jan 14

sperduti says...

Debenhams are not meant to come to Newport by the looks of it!!! so it looks like the people of Newport will have to continue to go to Cardiff, Cwmbran Bristol for lovely shops and places to eat !! of which I have been doing since the 70s and will continue to do so as I cannot see this development ever being finished never mind started !!!
Debenhams are not meant to come to Newport by the looks of it!!! so it looks like the people of Newport will have to continue to go to Cardiff, Cwmbran Bristol for lovely shops and places to eat !! of which I have been doing since the 70s and will continue to do so as I cannot see this development ever being finished never mind started !!! sperduti

12:01am Thu 2 Jan 14

pbhj says...

Exile Elmo wrote:
As far as I can see it, if Debenhams goes tits up and the Queensbury deal falls through at least the eye sore car park and other empty shops will be gone at no cost to Newport. NCC will not have to go £90m in the hock and we will have a site ready for another developer to take over.

It could be worse.
£90m + interest payments (you don't imagine NCC will have got a good deal on that loan do you?) is a pretty high price to demolish a line of shops.

It will mean a severe reduction in money available for spending on services and that, should Newport need money for something else, they're unlikely to be able to get additional loan money.
[quote][p][bold]Exile Elmo[/bold] wrote: As far as I can see it, if Debenhams goes tits up and the Queensbury deal falls through at least the eye sore car park and other empty shops will be gone at no cost to Newport. NCC will not have to go £90m in the hock and we will have a site ready for another developer to take over. It could be worse.[/p][/quote]£90m + interest payments (you don't imagine NCC will have got a good deal on that loan do you?) is a pretty high price to demolish a line of shops. It will mean a severe reduction in money available for spending on services and that, should Newport need money for something else, they're unlikely to be able to get additional loan money. pbhj

9:34am Sun 5 Jan 14

scraptheWAG says...

a whole 1.5 million I hope the people of newport thank the labour WAG kindly for this gesture .

These are the parasites that spent 18 million doing up one of their ten year old buildings.


THANKS GUYS
a whole 1.5 million I hope the people of newport thank the labour WAG kindly for this gesture . These are the parasites that spent 18 million doing up one of their ten year old buildings. THANKS GUYS scraptheWAG

6:53pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Mervyn James says...

scraptheWAG wrote:
a whole 1.5 million I hope the people of newport thank the labour WAG kindly for this gesture .

These are the parasites that spent 18 million doing up one of their ten year old buildings.


THANKS GUYS
Without that cash help, we would be looking at a visibly derelict Newport City Centre. There was no money for he demolition, although they had closed business down. The blame must lie squarely with City Planning. At least if the whole site is leveled there is less space for the druggies to hang out in. (I'd suggest grassing it over (Pardon the pun),and having a boating lake or something. It seems rather pointless waiting for another x amount of years for someone to throw £90m at a new centre that may well never get enough customers to make it viable.. More cuts next year too, so the benefit scroungers won't be ably to bolster pound shop up for much longer either. Cameron has the answer, evict all those claiming council relief and put the polish workers in, then they can get some rent paid. Apparently only the migrants are working.
[quote][p][bold]scraptheWAG[/bold] wrote: a whole 1.5 million I hope the people of newport thank the labour WAG kindly for this gesture . These are the parasites that spent 18 million doing up one of their ten year old buildings. THANKS GUYS[/p][/quote]Without that cash help, we would be looking at a visibly derelict Newport City Centre. There was no money for he demolition, although they had closed business down. The blame must lie squarely with City Planning. At least if the whole site is leveled there is less space for the druggies to hang out in. (I'd suggest grassing it over (Pardon the pun),and having a boating lake or something. It seems rather pointless waiting for another x amount of years for someone to throw £90m at a new centre that may well never get enough customers to make it viable.. More cuts next year too, so the benefit scroungers won't be ably to bolster pound shop up for much longer either. Cameron has the answer, evict all those claiming council relief and put the polish workers in, then they can get some rent paid. Apparently only the migrants are working. Mervyn James

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