Newport skyline changing as Friars Walk takes shape

Pictured is the Firars Walk Project under construction, dated 29th August 2014. (9813947)

Pictured is the Firars Walk Project under construction, dated 29th August 2014. (9813947)

First published in News by

NEWPORT’S newest major department store is taking shape and building has started on a cinema at the Friars Walk development, pictures show.

Debenhams announced its plans for a store in the city in two years ago – after it said Newport was the largest in the Britain without one. And it reaffirmed its commitment to the city earlier this year.

Steel frames – which make up a fraction of the 6,000 tonnes of framing which will be used for the project – have gone up for the new Cineworld cinema behind the site’s perimeter fence.

Developers Queensberry and contractors Bowmer and Kirkland will also be demolishing part of the former Iceland building.

And in June it was announced a £1.7 million fund will be set aside by the city council for it in case there is any difficult with its plan to loan £90 million to the complex’s developers. The first steel girders started to go up at the development in the same month.

High street restaurants Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito applied for premises licences as part of the development, which is due to open in November next year.

If passed, they would take their places in Usk Plaza and would be allowed to sell alcohol between 10am and midnight, late-night refreshment between 11am and 12.30am and play recorded music between 8am and 12.30am.

Other stores already signed up include high street names Topshop and Next and restaurants Cosmo and Nandos.

Earlier this summer it was announced that stone work will be used rather than tiles over some of the shops and that ETFE plastic roofing will be used. That is similar to the material used over Newport train station and has also been used at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

Newport has also received a £15 million grant from the Welsh government through the Vibrant and Viable Places programme, designed to drive housing-led regeneration in towns and cities. Another £1.5 million was used to pay for the demolition in John Frost Square.

When complete, Commercial Street will be connected at the top of Pill and other strands include changing a vacant building on Cardiff Road into flats and two new residential developments.

Comments (7)

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12:29pm Sat 30 Aug 14

NewportianGirl says...

Let's hope this brings back some money and class to Newport because it sure needs it! Still a shame the council had to destroy the amazing Chartist mural just to save pennies in comparison to what they are spending... But let's just hope the finished product will go some way to be worth the loss of one of the few historical things we had to show off...
Let's hope this brings back some money and class to Newport because it sure needs it! Still a shame the council had to destroy the amazing Chartist mural just to save pennies in comparison to what they are spending... But let's just hope the finished product will go some way to be worth the loss of one of the few historical things we had to show off... NewportianGirl
  • Score: -1

1:26pm Sat 30 Aug 14

Jinxey says...

Does the SWA not check it's articles before publishing them?

"Pictured is the Firars Walk Project under construction, dated 29th August 2014"

Firars Walk?

"after it said Newport was the largest in the Britain without one"

The largest in the Britain?
Does the SWA not check it's articles before publishing them? "Pictured is the Firars Walk Project under construction, dated 29th August 2014" Firars Walk? "after it said Newport was the largest in the Britain without one" The largest in the Britain? Jinxey
  • Score: 6

3:05pm Sat 30 Aug 14

LH1234 says...

I agree, Jinxey...and there have been several others in recent articles too. You'd think the journalists & some proofreader would check all articles first.
Newportian Girl -- it wasn't a shame, it was a crime! And worse, the development would be a perfect opportunity to make Newport & Chartism an educational focus and tourist attraction in the city. Yet again the council has no vision...and definitely no "class"!
I agree, Jinxey...and there have been several others in recent articles too. You'd think the journalists & some proofreader would check all articles first. Newportian Girl -- it wasn't a shame, it was a crime! And worse, the development would be a perfect opportunity to make Newport & Chartism an educational focus and tourist attraction in the city. Yet again the council has no vision...and definitely no "class"! LH1234
  • Score: -2

4:24pm Sat 30 Aug 14

NewportianGirl says...

LH1234 wrote:
I agree, Jinxey...and there have been several others in recent articles too. You'd think the journalists & some proofreader would check all articles first.
Newportian Girl -- it wasn't a shame, it was a crime! And worse, the development would be a perfect opportunity to make Newport & Chartism an educational focus and tourist attraction in the city. Yet again the council has no vision...and definitely no "class"!
Completely agree! Pity the council didn't feel the same way!
[quote][p][bold]LH1234[/bold] wrote: I agree, Jinxey...and there have been several others in recent articles too. You'd think the journalists & some proofreader would check all articles first. Newportian Girl -- it wasn't a shame, it was a crime! And worse, the development would be a perfect opportunity to make Newport & Chartism an educational focus and tourist attraction in the city. Yet again the council has no vision...and definitely no "class"![/p][/quote]Completely agree! Pity the council didn't feel the same way! NewportianGirl
  • Score: -7

6:46pm Sat 30 Aug 14

33daverave says...

Why am I hearing it's behind schedule ?
Why am I hearing it's behind schedule ? 33daverave
  • Score: -9

4:31pm Sun 31 Aug 14

Mr.Jolly. says...

Don't by any means post an honest critical comment about anything Newport Council does or you will be immediately voted down LOL!

Seriously I will give my whole hearted congratulations to the fabulous Riverfront Arts Centre which I visit regularly for the gigs and the cinema,lovely place with a great ambience. However the distruction of the mural was handled appallingly. As for the Friar's Walk development I do hope for Newport's sake it doesn't turn out to be a white elephant and if this turns out to be the case I'll give credit when it's due. Just not holding my breath on it.
Don't by any means post an honest critical comment about anything Newport Council does or you will be immediately voted down LOL! Seriously I will give my whole hearted congratulations to the fabulous Riverfront Arts Centre which I visit regularly for the gigs and the cinema,lovely place with a great ambience. However the distruction of the mural was handled appallingly. As for the Friar's Walk development I do hope for Newport's sake it doesn't turn out to be a white elephant and if this turns out to be the case I'll give credit when it's due. Just not holding my breath on it. Mr.Jolly.
  • Score: -4

11:52pm Sun 31 Aug 14

Jak777 says...

The way the council handled the chartist mural was disgusting. It was nothing short of vandalism. Ironic then then that the chartist movement was about people being heard and an oppressive authority. Those council members making the decission to tear the mural down in such an insensitive and disrespectful manor should be named and shamed
The way the council handled the chartist mural was disgusting. It was nothing short of vandalism. Ironic then then that the chartist movement was about people being heard and an oppressive authority. Those council members making the decission to tear the mural down in such an insensitive and disrespectful manor should be named and shamed Jak777
  • Score: -1
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