Newport has gone through difficult times in recent years, but there are many reasons to look forward in 2014.

The City Centre has a revamped market, and its new front entrance is fantastic – open and inviting - while the new bus station at the back will see flow through of people around the market.

Admiral’s new building is up, an investment in our city that will put hundreds of jobs in the city centre and could help provide a real boost for traders.

The demolition of the old car park last weekend clears the way for the Friars Walk redevelopment.

Newport City Council showed its confidence in the city and its future before Christmas, voting for £90 million to be lent to the developers to make sure this goes ahead as soon as possible.

Major retailers have shown their commitment to the scheme along with the council and it really feels like progress is being made.

The Newport task force, ReNewport also gave its report at the end of last year.

They set out some of the ambitious ideas that could further develop the city.

The Welsh Government’s economy minister will be responding to this, and it’s important that people keep thinking about how we improve our city and bring jobs in.

While I’m on an optimistic note, I have to mention Newport County.

Promotion last summer back to the Football League felt amazing and, as I write, County are just one place outside the playoffs in League Two.

There’s a long way to go yet, but the fact they’re in touching distance of the playoffs at this point of the season is quite amazing, and has put a spring in the step of many of us.

Newport has a great sporting tradition, and it’s a boost for the city to have our team back in the Football League and playing well.

Finally, some good news in the east of the constituency about Caldicot comprehensive school: the school will be completely rebuilt as part of the 21st Century Schools programme.

In just a few years time, staff and pupils will finally have a smart, modern environment for teaching in a sustainable building.