YESTERDAY’S explosive demolition of Newport’s Capitol car park could be just the jolt needed for the public to get behind the regeneration of the city centre.

There have been many false dawns for the city centre, during which the area has become increasingly old, tired and quiet.

But just after dawn yesterday, some 2,000 people turned out to witness the demolition, with tens of thousands of people also turning to our website to see video footage of the event – making its popularity in the history of second only to the recent flooding.

The council has borrowed £90 million from the public purse in order to ensure the regeneration project goes ahead – a move which was not without its critics.

But worse than criticism of the attempts of successive councils to rejuvenate Newport is apathy. There has been a sense of hopelessness among many that the city centre is a lost cause – and this is a feeling which must change if Friars Walk is to succeed.

The derelict car park came down in just six seconds, but those six seconds – watched by many thousands – may be just enough to galvanise public support for a vibrant new city centre.