Newport mayor marks start of work on city shopping centre, Friars Walk

South Wales Argus: Newport Mayor, Cllr Cliff Suller digs the first earth for the Friars Walk scheme. Looking on are Sheila Davies, Mayoress Christine Suller, Council leader Cllr Bob Bright, Paul Sargent, Will Godfrey, Stuart Harris, Paul Lomas and Martin Tressider Newport Mayor, Cllr Cliff Suller digs the first earth for the Friars Walk scheme. Looking on are Sheila Davies, Mayoress Christine Suller, Council leader Cllr Bob Bright, Paul Sargent, Will Godfrey, Stuart Harris, Paul Lomas and Martin Tressider

Work on Newport’s £90m Friars Walk development was officially launched with a groundbreaking ceremony in the city centre today.

The city’s mayor, Councillor Cliff Suller, led the groundbreaking on the site of the new 390,000 sq ft retail and leisure development, accompanied by leader of Newport City Council Bob Bright, Paul Sargent, of developers Queensberry Real Estate, and Paul Lomas, of contractors Bowmer and Kirkland.

The scheme, which has been backed by a £90m loan supported by Newport City Council, will create 650 jobs during its construction phase and about 1,100 jobs once it is complete.

Signings already announced include Debenhams, Next, Topshop, Nandos, Cineworld and Frankie and Benny’s. More names are set to be revealed in the near future.

Councillor Bob Bright, speaking at the ceremony which was attended by representatives of the Newport business community, the developers and contractors and the city council, said: “This is a momentous day in the Friars Walk story and another page in the story of the city centre.

“It has taken 30 years to get to this point and it is a real pleasure to be here. Newport has seen a number of false dawns but despite those we know Newport is a resilient and forward looking city.

“Residents visitors and businesses will be able to see the new development taking shape over the next 18 months in readiness for opening in the autumn of 2015.

“We are confident that 2014 will be the year that sees the start of a turnaround in Newport’s fortunes.”

Paul Sargent, managing partner of Queensberry Real Estate, said: “We are changing perceptions of Newport with positive action. Retailers are now returning to the city centre as a result and Friars Walk will be a reality the public will be able to enjoy from November 2015.

“We’ve been successful in signing up further key retailers and restaurants with more names to be announced in the near future.”

Comments (8)

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3:34pm Wed 9 Apr 14

portman says...

Now i believe !!!!
Now i believe !!!! portman
  • Score: 19

4:30pm Wed 9 Apr 14

YazPad-But says...

I'm living in hope but I'll still only believe it when I'm sat in Nando's eating a flame grilled peri peri.
I'm living in hope but I'll still only believe it when I'm sat in Nando's eating a flame grilled peri peri. YazPad-But
  • Score: 4

6:28pm Wed 9 Apr 14

cath 872 says...

Marks and Spencers please?!
Marks and Spencers please?! cath 872
  • Score: 8

7:46pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Heleninnewport says...

I heard a rumour that Marks and Spencer Simply Food was going to be part of the Station Quarter complex which is the retail section of Admiral? I would imagine that this is just wishful thinking! There is no harm in wishing!
I heard a rumour that Marks and Spencer Simply Food was going to be part of the Station Quarter complex which is the retail section of Admiral? I would imagine that this is just wishful thinking! There is no harm in wishing! Heleninnewport
  • Score: 7

8:42pm Wed 9 Apr 14

scraptheWAG says...

well at last some good news for newport
well at last some good news for newport scraptheWAG
  • Score: 6

9:18pm Wed 9 Apr 14

cath 872 says...

Heleninnewport - hope it's not just wishful thinking, I miss M &S!
Heleninnewport - hope it's not just wishful thinking, I miss M &S! cath 872
  • Score: 3

6:31am Thu 10 Apr 14

ExNewport says...

Bring back the murial!!
Bring back the murial!! ExNewport
  • Score: -15

8:55am Thu 10 Apr 14

MERoden says...

This is excellent news for Newport. Between this, the Admiral Insurance development, the new entrance to Newport Market, and Wildings starting a major refurbishment soon, this is all great news for Newport. Newport is on the up.

I will be one of the first customers in Friars Walk when it opens.
This is excellent news for Newport. Between this, the Admiral Insurance development, the new entrance to Newport Market, and Wildings starting a major refurbishment soon, this is all great news for Newport. Newport is on the up. I will be one of the first customers in Friars Walk when it opens. MERoden
  • Score: 16

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