MONEY would be better spent on creating wealth than on the Newport Ship.
That’s according to ReNewport's Simon Gibson who was applauded when he told delegates at the Newport City Summit that youth unemployment was a bigger priority.
The comment came during a question and answer session with Mr Gibson, council leader Cllr Bob Bright and Ian Edwards of the Celtic Manor Resort.
Cllr Bright called the Ship a “national treasure which should be on exhibition in Newport” but argued that it was difficult with the current severe financial constraints.
“It’s not within the gift of the city council. We need a partnership approach. It’s a fantastic find. It has fantastic potential for tourists and those interested in that kind of history,” he said.
Cllr Bright suggested Mr Gibson and the taskforce he chairs could raise the matter with Welsh ministers.
But Mr Gibson said: “Our take on it is that it’s an enormously important piece of antiquity but it has to be prioritised,” he said.
“Right now, to do the job properly the amount of money required is too big, and that money would be better spent creating wealth.”
“The Ship in its current state is not as important as youth unemployment,” he said to some cheers from the audience.
Mr Gibson pointed to how the Alacrity foundation, a business bootcamp in Newport, has attracted philanthropic support.
He added: “The Ship’s day will come. When it does come lets do it properly."
There are outstanding Newport council proposals to end the budget for the Newport Ship by 2016.