TWO businesses are bucking the trend by moving into Newport city centre.

Dunbar Estate Agents Ltd has moved from Caerleon Road to Bailey Street while Leisuretime coach holiday operator has opened a newsales office in Llanarth Street.

Ceri Johnson, who runs the Cardiff-based firm which runs 2,000 coach trips around the UK and Europe each year, said it had a strong customer base in Newport since it started in 1996.

She said she had considered many other areas but came back to Newport every time.

Her son, George Johnson, 22, has now taken over the Newport arm of the business, which employs three full-time staff, and she said they had received nothing but positive feedback.

She said: “It’s a great place, there’s great potential here and lots of fabulous people.”

Darra O’Flaherty, of Dunbar, said the firm, which started in 2005, had faith in Newport city centre and he encouraged more people to share his way of thinking to boost its profile.

He said: “We think we have gone as far as we can being an out-of-town agent, and with Admiral set to move to Cambrian Centre and the new development (Friars Walk) we are hoping that it’s going to be a bit of a turnaround for the city centre.

“I am from Newport and I know it gets a lot of slating but I am proud to be from here.”

Recently we reported that a string of high street shops was deserting the city centre.

Marks and Spencer has relocated to Newport Retail Park, clothes store Internacionale closed on January 21, clothes store Suit U has left its unit, toy shop Total Toys has left and women’s fashion shop Pilot is running a closing-down sale.