THE project to turn an empty city pub into apartments is celebrating reaching the end if its first phase as external work is completed.

Newport City Council officers are working with the owners of the former King William pub on the corner of Commercial Street to help them transform the building into flats.

This project is a forerunner to the schemes due to be carried out as part of the vibrant and viable programme which will see buildings in the city centre converted for residential use. The Welsh government awarded Newport council almost £15m for the programme which also involve private sector funds.

Following completion of external refurbishment work by Newport company White Bros and Speed, the 19th century building is an impressive sight.

Councillor John Richards, cabinet member for regeneration and development, said: “It is fantastic to see this disused building restored to its former glory especially as it occupies such a prominent position in the city centre.

“I would like to congratulate everyone involved in this project, including our officers and White Bros and Speed, who have achieved such a magnificent result.

“We now look forward to the next phase which will turn this former pub into a place where people want to live.

“We believed introducing a residential feel to the city centre is vital for its regeneration.

“We also want to tackle the problems of vacant properties in Newport.

“Projects such as these will help us to do just that and make a real difference to our city.”

Owners of empty buildings can contact Newport City Council for advice if they are interested in similar projects.

The three-year-long viable and vibrant places fund regeneration project includes a raft of property and training-based schemes, with a focus on bringing many of the city’s neglected upper floors back into use.

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