WITH continued investment, support and working in partnership with the Welsh Government, the face of Newport is changing.

The redevelopment of the city centre, and in particular, the Friars Walk development is beginning to take shape. The Welsh Government provided £1.5 million to kick start its redevelopment, including the demolition of the old Capital car park earlier this year.

Newport City Council was recently awarded over £14 million under the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places regeneration programme to transform key properties in the city centre. Some of the properties will be converted into new homes and others will provide space for business start-ups. The scheme will help to create up to 600 jobs, provide more than 420 homes and assist more than 850 people gain work based learning and skills opportunities. This is fantastic news and alongside other suggestions in the report from the Newport Business Development Task Force this innovative approach will help to transform our city.

I was delighted to hear that £4 million of funding has been announced to construct a footbridge at Devon Place. The new footbridge will link Devon Place with bus stops on Queensway outside the railway station, and improvements will also be made to the bus station including toilets, retail outlets, information points and real time information. I have long campaigned for a footbridge at Devon Place, and I look forward to seeing this plan become a reality.

The Welsh Government is committed to helping to provide housing in Newport, and has recently lent £7 million for the building of up to 400 homes on the Whitehead Steelworks site in Pillgwenlly. Homes are expected to be built by 2016, and this project will help to transform a brownfield site into a thriving and affordable community.

I recently attended the launch of Derwen Cymru, Wales’ only dedicated older people’s housing and services provider. Managed by the Seren Group, Derwen is a great example of collaborative working, and highlights how important it is that all stakeholders work together in the best interests of older people in our local communities.

A home delivers the stability and privacy that individuals need to flourish, and Derwen will be providing a service which will enhance the quality of life, independence and choice for older members of our community. You to find out more by visiting its website: derwencymru.co.uk

Keep up to date with my activities by visiting rosemarybutleram.com or following me on Twitter @RosemaryButler. To be added to my e-mail newsletter list call 01633 222523 or e-mail rosemary.butler@wales.gov.uk