A RAFT of projects to revamp city centre properties and make them suitable for housing has been revealed by Newport council.
Newport is one of 11 authorities which were successful in bidding for the £100 million Welsh Government Vibrant and Viable Places regeneration scheme – with the council granted close to £15 million.
The three-year-long regeneration project includes a raft of property and training-based schemes, with a big focus on bringing many of the city centre’s neglected upper floors back into use.
It’s all part of the council’s vision to make the district a place to live and work as well as shop, working alongside private developers and social landlords.
Not all the projects are residential, however, and plans to create space for business start-ups are also in the offing.
One of the projects set to benefit from V&VP grant cash is a scheme to transform the Grade II listed former Yates Wine Lodge on High Street into a 60-bedroom Premier Inn Hotel, where work has already started.
It had been hoped that it would be suitable for another Welsh Government grant, but strategic director of place Sheila Davies said the grant criteria changed before it could be taken up by the developer.
There are proposals for the facade of Park Square car park and neighbouring two shops to be revamped, with five flats created above the foyer entrance.
One project would see improvements to first floor properties in the Newport Market building, while the council plans to provide up to 24 homes in Lower Dock Street.
Plans to renovate a derelict listed building on Cardiff Road near the Royal Gwent Hospital with 15 apartments are also part of the scheme.
In the second year, the council plans for two or three large derelict buildings to be renovated at the north of Commercial Street, creating 93 homes.
This includes 40 flats on the upper floors of a building on the corner of High Street and Skinner Street.
Newport Council Labour leader Bob Bright said: “They are Victorian buildings in the main. People just didn’t want to live in them. They have great potential to make good living space.”
Ms Davies said: “We wanted to make Newport more of a European-style city, where instead of the traditional ‘that piece of land is for employment, that piece of land is for retail’, we’re doing it in layers up.”