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NEWPORT getting a world-class conference centre has got potential to be a real driver for several sectors of our local economy.

And it is a big coup for Newport that this development will take place here instead of in Cardiff, as is so often the case with such major schemes.

Yesterday Newport City Council planning committee approved the plans to create the Wales International Conference Centre at the Celtic Manor Resort.

And in doing so they have given the economy a real shot in the arm.

In the construction phase the advantages are obvious. Then the centre itself will create around 150 permanent jobs with a further 150 casual posts created as and when needed.

But the knock-on effect will be felt far and wide for others in the hotel and restaurant businesses and of course the supply chain.

The proposed centre will be able to cater for up to 3,000 delegates. All these people cannot stay at the Celtic Manor Resort so other hotels and guest houses will benefit as will nearby restaurants and bars.

The resort already spends massively within the NP postcode area and the addition of the conference centre is expected to lift that to around £30m a year.

Cardiff and Bristol are still talking about potentially developing such centres. The fact that Newport is already at this stage means it is right ahead of the game.