THE IDEA to turn Newport city centre landmark the Westgate Hotel into a hospitality training school is an interesting one.

And, in our view, it is one which should not just be dismissed without proper consideration.

Here is a once proud hotel standing empty.

What better way for it to be brought back into use than to use it as a training ground for the not insignificant hotel and hospitality industry.

Not only would the scheme breathe life back into this much-loved building, but by its very existence in the heart of the city, the trainees would bring much needed footfall and vitality.

This could then act as a catalyst for other city centre ventures.

The aim would have to be to create a centre of excellence for the training centre, so that Newport could build a reputation among students the length and breadth of the country wanting to enter this line of work.

Of course, this is just an idea at the moment, and one of several currently under discussion as part of the ReNewport project .

Further, much work would need to be done to turn such an idea into reality, not least in renovating the Westgate Hotel itself.

But it does have merit and it is ideas like this which really will make a difference for the city.

Let’s hope it can get off the ground, and sooner rather than later.