A CHARITY shop in Newport city centre has appealed to the firm behind the Friars Walk development to ‘hurry up’ as shops on either side of it have closed down.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) shop on Upper Dock Street is sandwiched between vacant stores and is suffering because people don’t know it is there, said manager Barbara Pryce.

“On paper this is a city, but it has been going down and down over the last five years,” said Mrs Pryce, whose shop is in the middle of a row of now-closed stores.

“The high street is the worst since I’ve been here,” said Mrs Pryce, who has been manager at the store for ten years and has lived in Newport all her life.

“This is supposed to be the main walkway to the new Debenhams and that would have a lot of impact for us.”

The Friars Walk development is due to get under way next autumn. Stuart Harris of Queensberry Real Estate, the firm behind the development, said Debenhams and Cineworld have already signed up.

“We need them to hurry up,” said Mrs Pryce. “What we need is more shops here.”