Newport ex-hotel ‘ideal’ for museum and gallery

SUBMITTEDTHE KINGS HOTEL IN NEWPORT (3384843)

SWA MIKE LEWIS 22 4 12 REPORTER DAVID THE KINGS HOTEL (NOW CLOSED) IN NEWPORT (3384845)

SWA MIKE LEWIS 22 4 12 REPORTER DAVID THE KINGS HOTEL (NOW CLOSED) IN NEWPORT (3384852)

IDEA: Co-chairman of Newport Civic Society, Rev Andrew Willie who put forward the suggestion

SUBMITTEDTHE KINGS HOTEL IN NEWPORT (3384841)

Newport ex-hotel ‘ideal’ for museum and gallery

First published in News

THE KINGS Hotel in Newport should become the city’s museum and art gallery, according to Newport Civic Society’s Reverend Canon Andrew Willie.

The 200-year-old building, located at the top of the High Street in the heart of the city centre, has been empty for two years since the hotel ceased trading, owners blaming a “severe” downturn in trade for its closure.

Co-chairman of the Newport Civic Society, Mr Willie, believes it is the perfect venue to display the contents of Newport’s museum.

“The present museum is cramped,” he said. “It lacks sufficient space for storing its very rich catalogue of acquisitions, let alone exhibiting them.

“They do their best to display what they have, but it’s too cramped and uncomfortable even for the few items that they have on show.

“The Kings Hotel is very spacious and would allow everything that Newport has to offer to be put on show. There is a lot more useable space. Items that are in storage could be displayed in a much more effective display if the room was available.”

Not only would the Kings Hotel provide a bigger area to display the contents of the current museum, but Mr Willie believes it would be in a location that could be the catalyst for a brighter future for the city.

“It really is in the perfect location. It is not far from the Riverfront or the market and it would give that area of the city a real focus. It’s close to the Friar’s Walk development and it could stimulate other developments in the city as well. I firmly believe it is perfectly placed and could be the focal point of the city centre.

“The back could be used for administration purposes.

“I have advocated for a very long time that it should become Newport’s museum and art gallery. If it was followed through properly, then it would be a wonderful thing for the city.”

The King’s Hotel closed at the end of 2011, with Punch Taverns as the freeholder of the site. Its contents were put up for auction in February 2012.

The 61-bedroom hotel went on the market in May 2012 for £1.5m. It remains unsold.

The hotel once enjoyed a reputation as a live music venue which hosted Van Morrison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Robert Plant.

Newport council has been examining proposals to move the museum and art gallery into Newport Centre, but the matter has not yet been decided.

Comments (29)

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7:21am Tue 14 Jan 14

gathin says...

Exactly the same as the "public-treasure" that was the Westgate- it would be better as a hotel than a museum.
It will more than likely burn down before anything's done with it anyway...
How did town become so dismal and sad?
Exactly the same as the "public-treasure" that was the Westgate- it would be better as a hotel than a museum. It will more than likely burn down before anything's done with it anyway... How did town become so dismal and sad? gathin
  • Score: 6

8:03am Tue 14 Jan 14

john.hall1000 says...

It should become a new museum, most of all the old buildings are up and around that area, you've got the carpenters, st. lawrences lane, the market, the castle and the murrenger, all in a small area. And all the transport is up there too. So newport council give something back to the people of newport!.TURN THE KINGS HEAD INTO A MUSEUM.
It should become a new museum, most of all the old buildings are up and around that area, you've got the carpenters, st. lawrences lane, the market, the castle and the murrenger, all in a small area. And all the transport is up there too. So newport council give something back to the people of newport!.TURN THE KINGS HEAD INTO A MUSEUM. john.hall1000
  • Score: 36

8:37am Tue 14 Jan 14

Bobevans says...

john.hall1000 wrote:
It should become a new museum, most of all the old buildings are up and around that area, you've got the carpenters, st. lawrences lane, the market, the castle and the murrenger, all in a small area. And all the transport is up there too. So newport council give something back to the people of newport!.TURN THE KINGS HEAD INTO A MUSEUM.
And will enough people pay an economic entry fee? To run a places that sizes will costs tens of millions a year

If you are not prepared to pay an entrance fee what services are you suggesting be cut to fund it?
[quote][p][bold]john.hall1000[/bold] wrote: It should become a new museum, most of all the old buildings are up and around that area, you've got the carpenters, st. lawrences lane, the market, the castle and the murrenger, all in a small area. And all the transport is up there too. So newport council give something back to the people of newport!.TURN THE KINGS HEAD INTO A MUSEUM.[/p][/quote]And will enough people pay an economic entry fee? To run a places that sizes will costs tens of millions a year If you are not prepared to pay an entrance fee what services are you suggesting be cut to fund it? Bobevans
  • Score: -12

8:42am Tue 14 Jan 14

gathin says...

There's nothing else that they can cut is there?
This won't work. It's a half-arsed idea that nobody's really thought about and just fills-out the argus a bit more to make it appear that it's value for money!
There's nothing else that they can cut is there? This won't work. It's a half-arsed idea that nobody's really thought about and just fills-out the argus a bit more to make it appear that it's value for money! gathin
  • Score: -9

8:49am Tue 14 Jan 14

Mr G Went says...

The more we can do to encourage daytime 'footfall' to the City Centre the better. That building is a stunning piece of architecture, it already looks like it should be a museum.

The alternatives? Turn the bottom floor into yet another nightclub for the young to binge drink til the early hours and splatter the street with alcopop coloured vomit.

Newport Council, you want to increase visitors to the centre of Newport? Give the people (the daytime visitors) some nice places to visit, not just a row of abandoned cheap watering holes!

You promise regeneration, this would be a fantastic coup
The more we can do to encourage daytime 'footfall' to the City Centre the better. That building is a stunning piece of architecture, it already looks like it should be a museum. The alternatives? Turn the bottom floor into yet another nightclub for the young to binge drink til the early hours and splatter the street with alcopop coloured vomit. Newport Council, you want to increase visitors to the centre of Newport? Give the people (the daytime visitors) some nice places to visit, not just a row of abandoned cheap watering holes! You promise regeneration, this would be a fantastic coup Mr G Went
  • Score: 23

8:52am Tue 14 Jan 14

DavidMclean says...

How would a hotel make a good museum?

By definition a hotel is a lot of small individual rooms. In the case of the King's Head it also has a function room and restaurant, but hardly what you'd call a typical museum building.
How would a hotel make a good museum? By definition a hotel is a lot of small individual rooms. In the case of the King's Head it also has a function room and restaurant, but hardly what you'd call a typical museum building. DavidMclean
  • Score: -10

8:55am Tue 14 Jan 14

gathin says...

Just had a great idea if they want to save money to open a museum that will close in 6mths as nobody will bother to go in there......
Take it out of the councils pension fun/ pay-off fund!
It's public tax-payers money anyway- is it not?
Just had a great idea if they want to save money to open a museum that will close in 6mths as nobody will bother to go in there...... Take it out of the councils pension fun/ pay-off fund! It's public tax-payers money anyway- is it not? gathin
  • Score: -14

9:15am Tue 14 Jan 14

Mr G Went says...

Lottery funding maybe?
Let out part of the building as office space?
Let out some of the bottom floor as shops? I'm sure someone like 'Apple' would love a location like that
Have a bit of vision guys, rather than a cheap dig about pay offs
Its a beautiful building in a prime daytime location (night time sucks hence why it eventually failed as a hotel)
Lottery funding maybe? Let out part of the building as office space? Let out some of the bottom floor as shops? I'm sure someone like 'Apple' would love a location like that Have a bit of vision guys, rather than a cheap dig about pay offs Its a beautiful building in a prime daytime location (night time sucks hence why it eventually failed as a hotel) Mr G Went
  • Score: 18

9:52am Tue 14 Jan 14

Doc1967 says...

Yes, at least we know then that ONE historic building will be put to good use rather than demolished or vandalized in the name of "progress", and let's make sure Bob Bright has nothing whatsoever to do with the decision.
Yes, at least we know then that ONE historic building will be put to good use rather than demolished or vandalized in the name of "progress", and let's make sure Bob Bright has nothing whatsoever to do with the decision. Doc1967
  • Score: 8

10:03am Tue 14 Jan 14

Banjalucka says...

Great idea put forward many times since the Hotel closed.
Great idea put forward many times since the Hotel closed. Banjalucka
  • Score: 5

10:34am Tue 14 Jan 14

russ angel says...

The Westgate is the one.Then put the new Cinema multiplex in the old museum/library building,and the the Kingsway centre as a home for the new shopping centre not all this nonsense building another.Debenhams can have the whole downstairs to themselves it is empty.This council dont have a brain cell between them though.
The Westgate is the one.Then put the new Cinema multiplex in the old museum/library building,and the the Kingsway centre as a home for the new shopping centre not all this nonsense building another.Debenhams can have the whole downstairs to themselves it is empty.This council dont have a brain cell between them though. russ angel
  • Score: -6

10:39am Tue 14 Jan 14

welshmen says...

The old Art College was turned into residential properties, even after several fires, The Kings Hotel from the first floor up would be excellent for residential accommodation, the ground floor for shops....
The old Art College was turned into residential properties, even after several fires, The Kings Hotel from the first floor up would be excellent for residential accommodation, the ground floor for shops.... welshmen
  • Score: 20

10:43am Tue 14 Jan 14

gracief says...

They could put a cafe/restaurant in the building and the smaller rooms could be used for seminars or conferences. That would encourage small businesses to use the building for meetings. The main central library could also be relocated here.
They could put a cafe/restaurant in the building and the smaller rooms could be used for seminars or conferences. That would encourage small businesses to use the building for meetings. The main central library could also be relocated here. gracief
  • Score: 7

11:34am Tue 14 Jan 14

bucks says...

Yes, lets blow more public money on a community project that the community doesn't actually need so wont use. When are people going to realise that blowing public money on infrastructure projects is already the dreadful legacy of the council. I've lived away for 20 years and in all that time I cant remember visiting the town without the town centre being dug-up; always 'half-finished', always something being done, but very little to show for it afterwards. How many different types of road surface and pavements have they laid and then dug-up?

Perhaps private money could be used to convert the building into flats, instead of building on green space or on flood plains. Same for the rest of the derelict and empty buildings in the town centre, if you look up above the shop units you see how many of the floors above are empty, or used as overflow storage space - its a real eye-opener. Regenerate it into accommodation and make the centre a more vibrant place. European towns and cities are filled with flats and town houses, if people live in the centres then they will shop in the centres, thus making them more vibrant and attracting others there. Its not rocket science, but there seems to be an obsession with keeping commercial properties, even if they are left empty.

I know its a city, but its still a town to me.
Yes, lets blow more public money on a community project that the community doesn't actually need so wont use. When are people going to realise that blowing public money on infrastructure projects is already the dreadful legacy of the council. I've lived away for 20 years and in all that time I cant remember visiting the town without the town centre being dug-up; always 'half-finished', always something being done, but very little to show for it afterwards. How many different types of road surface and pavements have they laid and then dug-up? Perhaps private money could be used to convert the building into flats, instead of building on green space or on flood plains. Same for the rest of the derelict and empty buildings in the town centre, if you look up above the shop units you see how many of the floors above are empty, or used as overflow storage space - its a real eye-opener. Regenerate it into accommodation and make the centre a more vibrant place. European towns and cities are filled with flats and town houses, if people live in the centres then they will shop in the centres, thus making them more vibrant and attracting others there. Its not rocket science, but there seems to be an obsession with keeping commercial properties, even if they are left empty. I know its a city, but its still a town to me. bucks
  • Score: 3

11:40am Tue 14 Jan 14

Thomas O'Malley says...

Funding and converting it would take some working out but it would be a fitting location and frontage for the museum/library.
Funding and converting it would take some working out but it would be a fitting location and frontage for the museum/library. Thomas O'Malley
  • Score: 8

4:49pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Bobevans says...

Mr G Went wrote:
Lottery funding maybe?
Let out part of the building as office space?
Let out some of the bottom floor as shops? I'm sure someone like 'Apple' would love a location like that
Have a bit of vision guys, rather than a cheap dig about pay offs
Its a beautiful building in a prime daytime location (night time sucks hence why it eventually failed as a hotel)
For Lottery funding you have to Match the Lottery funding and they will only Cover the start up costs not the running costs. Lots of Lottery funded arts projects have gone to the wall because they were too expensive and over ambitious and never ever reached anywhere near the planned visitor numbers
[quote][p][bold]Mr G Went[/bold] wrote: Lottery funding maybe? Let out part of the building as office space? Let out some of the bottom floor as shops? I'm sure someone like 'Apple' would love a location like that Have a bit of vision guys, rather than a cheap dig about pay offs Its a beautiful building in a prime daytime location (night time sucks hence why it eventually failed as a hotel)[/p][/quote]For Lottery funding you have to Match the Lottery funding and they will only Cover the start up costs not the running costs. Lots of Lottery funded arts projects have gone to the wall because they were too expensive and over ambitious and never ever reached anywhere near the planned visitor numbers Bobevans
  • Score: -1

4:55pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Bobevans says...

bucks wrote:
Yes, lets blow more public money on a community project that the community doesn't actually need so wont use. When are people going to realise that blowing public money on infrastructure projects is already the dreadful legacy of the council. I've lived away for 20 years and in all that time I cant remember visiting the town without the town centre being dug-up; always 'half-finished', always something being done, but very little to show for it afterwards. How many different types of road surface and pavements have they laid and then dug-up?

Perhaps private money could be used to convert the building into flats, instead of building on green space or on flood plains. Same for the rest of the derelict and empty buildings in the town centre, if you look up above the shop units you see how many of the floors above are empty, or used as overflow storage space - its a real eye-opener. Regenerate it into accommodation and make the centre a more vibrant place. European towns and cities are filled with flats and town houses, if people live in the centres then they will shop in the centres, thus making them more vibrant and attracting others there. Its not rocket science, but there seems to be an obsession with keeping commercial properties, even if they are left empty.

I know its a city, but its still a town to me.
Using it for flats seems the most sensible approach. It would not be attractive to families but would be ideal for young single people. The internal layout would lent itself well to that. Ground floor area facing onto Commercial street could be shops, Could also include a coffee shop. The old reception area could be kept to ensure trouble makers are kept out
[quote][p][bold]bucks[/bold] wrote: Yes, lets blow more public money on a community project that the community doesn't actually need so wont use. When are people going to realise that blowing public money on infrastructure projects is already the dreadful legacy of the council. I've lived away for 20 years and in all that time I cant remember visiting the town without the town centre being dug-up; always 'half-finished', always something being done, but very little to show for it afterwards. How many different types of road surface and pavements have they laid and then dug-up? Perhaps private money could be used to convert the building into flats, instead of building on green space or on flood plains. Same for the rest of the derelict and empty buildings in the town centre, if you look up above the shop units you see how many of the floors above are empty, or used as overflow storage space - its a real eye-opener. Regenerate it into accommodation and make the centre a more vibrant place. European towns and cities are filled with flats and town houses, if people live in the centres then they will shop in the centres, thus making them more vibrant and attracting others there. Its not rocket science, but there seems to be an obsession with keeping commercial properties, even if they are left empty. I know its a city, but its still a town to me.[/p][/quote]Using it for flats seems the most sensible approach. It would not be attractive to families but would be ideal for young single people. The internal layout would lent itself well to that. Ground floor area facing onto Commercial street could be shops, Could also include a coffee shop. The old reception area could be kept to ensure trouble makers are kept out Bobevans
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Bobevans says...

A Museum in my view is a none starter both on costs and visitor numbers

Another big problem is the internal layout and floor height etc is ill suited to a museum and even floor loading may be a problem

Another big problem is it is a Grade II listed building and whilst some internal alterations can be made I doubt you would get away with gutting it internally. The existing layout would have to be largely kept

It another ones of this ill thought out ideas
A Museum in my view is a none starter both on costs and visitor numbers Another big problem is the internal layout and floor height etc is ill suited to a museum and even floor loading may be a problem Another big problem is it is a Grade II listed building and whilst some internal alterations can be made I doubt you would get away with gutting it internally. The existing layout would have to be largely kept It another ones of this ill thought out ideas Bobevans
  • Score: -7

6:05pm Tue 14 Jan 14

portman says...

I heard B & K are the approved contractors for friars walk work to start next month
I heard B & K are the approved contractors for friars walk work to start next month portman
  • Score: -3

6:08pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Bobevans says...

portman wrote:
I heard B & K are the approved contractors for friars walk work to start next month
I would doubt it. It will take at least two three weeks to clear the site and then you need to do the ground works. They would need to take core samples to access the ground and check for any possible contamination and problems etc
That could take a week or two
[quote][p][bold]portman[/bold] wrote: I heard B & K are the approved contractors for friars walk work to start next month[/p][/quote]I would doubt it. It will take at least two three weeks to clear the site and then you need to do the ground works. They would need to take core samples to access the ground and check for any possible contamination and problems etc That could take a week or two Bobevans
  • Score: -3

6:24pm Tue 14 Jan 14

grumpyandopinionated says...

Oh come on, we've already got a museum and library that hardly anyone uses, and what will happen to the current space occupied, yet more unoccupied space. We as the people of newport do need reminding from time to time of what a industrious history we have had, but wasting money is going to only make our future more and more bleak. It, as a building must be saved though, small self contained flats would be ok I suppose, for those without transport. Forget about more empty shops, would make a semi decent restraunt as that is something that there are few of in town. As far as I remember the place wasn't all that good as a hotel, needed too many repairs etc done to it. Will be sad to see it eventually burn down. I really dislike the decline of Newport, has been a while coming. It will be a while before we get out of it as well.
Oh come on, we've already got a museum and library that hardly anyone uses, and what will happen to the current space occupied, yet more unoccupied space. We as the people of newport do need reminding from time to time of what a industrious history we have had, but wasting money is going to only make our future more and more bleak. It, as a building must be saved though, small self contained flats would be ok I suppose, for those without transport. Forget about more empty shops, would make a semi decent restraunt as that is something that there are few of in town. As far as I remember the place wasn't all that good as a hotel, needed too many repairs etc done to it. Will be sad to see it eventually burn down. I really dislike the decline of Newport, has been a while coming. It will be a while before we get out of it as well. grumpyandopinionated
  • Score: -4

7:10pm Tue 14 Jan 14

coidmellyn says...

NO?

Knock it down clear the area open it up as a green area with trees and view of the market.
It can be used for open air events like festivals like you did so well last summer with music of all kinds like they do in cities of this size every year ?
Call it market sq,
The westgate is the best one it has its own history it has the marks to prove it it is a landmark of historical importance and known all around the world in literature and on the web. so come on use this fantastic landmark. That is in the center of this historic city that has a lot going for it if we only look under the dust of neglect ?
NO? Knock it down clear the area open it up as a green area with trees and view of the market. It can be used for open air events like festivals like you did so well last summer with music of all kinds like they do in cities of this size every year ? Call it market sq, The westgate is the best one it has its own history it has the marks to prove it it is a landmark of historical importance and known all around the world in literature and on the web. so come on use this fantastic landmark. That is in the center of this historic city that has a lot going for it if we only look under the dust of neglect ? coidmellyn
  • Score: -8

9:06pm Tue 14 Jan 14

scraptheWAG says...

in any other town that property would be snapped up but newport is now literally like a run down valleys town unless it was very cheap i would not touch with barge pole
in any other town that property would be snapped up but newport is now literally like a run down valleys town unless it was very cheap i would not touch with barge pole scraptheWAG
  • Score: -3

9:09pm Tue 14 Jan 14

scraptheWAG says...

Bobevans wrote:
A Museum in my view is a none starter both on costs and visitor numbers

Another big problem is the internal layout and floor height etc is ill suited to a museum and even floor loading may be a problem

Another big problem is it is a Grade II listed building and whilst some internal alterations can be made I doubt you would get away with gutting it internally. The existing layout would have to be largely kept

It another ones of this ill thought out ideas
the trouble is the owner want the price pre slum days fifteen years ago it would have been a good buy not you will have to give the building away (who on earth would want to visit a slum)
[quote][p][bold]Bobevans[/bold] wrote: A Museum in my view is a none starter both on costs and visitor numbers Another big problem is the internal layout and floor height etc is ill suited to a museum and even floor loading may be a problem Another big problem is it is a Grade II listed building and whilst some internal alterations can be made I doubt you would get away with gutting it internally. The existing layout would have to be largely kept It another ones of this ill thought out ideas[/p][/quote]the trouble is the owner want the price pre slum days fifteen years ago it would have been a good buy not you will have to give the building away (who on earth would want to visit a slum) scraptheWAG
  • Score: -5

10:07pm Tue 14 Jan 14

welsh_n_proud says...

I think it should be turned into a multi-use facility; some rental flats; a proper restaurant (there isn't one in town now is there?); some office space/a conference room or 2; and the ballroom should become a wedding-focussed function room, where people can get married and have their reception in the same venue. There's a huge catering kitchen leading on to the ballroom which would make it ideal for catering large functions.

It needs to pay for itself, after initial significant investment to get it up to standard. Many varying income streams can be a better bet than just 1 or 2, as hotels know only too well. It just needs someone with money and a long-term enough vision to step in and take it on. Sadly, I am not that person!!
I think it should be turned into a multi-use facility; some rental flats; a proper restaurant (there isn't one in town now is there?); some office space/a conference room or 2; and the ballroom should become a wedding-focussed function room, where people can get married and have their reception in the same venue. There's a huge catering kitchen leading on to the ballroom which would make it ideal for catering large functions. It needs to pay for itself, after initial significant investment to get it up to standard. Many varying income streams can be a better bet than just 1 or 2, as hotels know only too well. It just needs someone with money and a long-term enough vision to step in and take it on. Sadly, I am not that person!! welsh_n_proud
  • Score: 0

11:55pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Thinking heads says...

Wow ?.
valley town's are slums theare doing pretty well the people and there town's are catching up now with help and some are worth a good look ?.
investment and a view in the peoples minds that they can withstand criticism
like yours and be proud of what they are trying to with there town's and villages with the lack of money to the welsh government for there country
who ever party prociedes to run wales.
We get the short straw and do you think we are the dull to listen to you who hold us in so low esteem ?
The welsh nation stands in a fight with heads held high and do the best we can to protect ower town's and city's from criticism when it is not justified.
Wow ?. valley town's are slums theare doing pretty well the people and there town's are catching up now with help and some are worth a good look ?. investment and a view in the peoples minds that they can withstand criticism like yours and be proud of what they are trying to with there town's and villages with the lack of money to the welsh government for there country who ever party prociedes to run wales. We get the short straw and do you think we are the dull to listen to you who hold us in so low esteem ? The welsh nation stands in a fight with heads held high and do the best we can to protect ower town's and city's from criticism when it is not justified. Thinking heads
  • Score: 0

1:19am Wed 15 Jan 14

gabriel williams says...

i thought travelodge bought it and was going to keep it running as a hotel ? also was this damaged by a fire about 2 years ago ?
so all the money you just spent making the old museam good , with a new frontage etc, i think its just a waste of money . what newport really needs is a new life . knock the whole of john frost square down and make it into cabot circus like in bristol that equals more jobs for newport for people that cant find any and have to travel 30 miles away to get one. the kingsway is a waste also as everywhere i look in there theres just a board up saying experience newport . what is there to see , nothing
i thought travelodge bought it and was going to keep it running as a hotel ? also was this damaged by a fire about 2 years ago ? so all the money you just spent making the old museam good , with a new frontage etc, i think its just a waste of money . what newport really needs is a new life . knock the whole of john frost square down and make it into cabot circus like in bristol that equals more jobs for newport for people that cant find any and have to travel 30 miles away to get one. the kingsway is a waste also as everywhere i look in there theres just a board up saying experience newport . what is there to see , nothing gabriel williams
  • Score: -2

7:25pm Wed 15 Jan 14

ohc says...

Wish we could see Jerry Lee Lewis in Newport again
Wish we could see Jerry Lee Lewis in Newport again ohc
  • Score: 0

8:11pm Wed 15 Jan 14

scraptheWAG says...

a dss hostel more like
a dss hostel more like scraptheWAG
  • Score: 0

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