Newport's medieval ship could be displayed in new museum
11:11am Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in Gwent news
THE Medieval Newport Ship could be displayed in an annexe attached to a new museum in the city centre, the Argus has been told.
The 15th Century shipwreck could become a major new attraction at a cultural hub that could open at the Newport Centre in Kingsway, under cost-saving proposals mooted by council chiefs.
The 110ft merchant vessel would take pride of place a stone’s throw from where it was found during building works to the Riverfront Theatre in Kingsway in 2002.
The ship annexe proposals emerged after Newport council unveiled austerity plans to cut £34m from its budgets by 2017.
In a bid to save money, the Labour-led council is looking at relocating the Newport Museum and Library in John Frost Square to the Newport Centre sports centre in Kingsway.
The Friends of the Newport Ship have greeted proposals to display the wreck stored in Newport at a new museum annexe with a guarded welcome.
Friends committee member Bob Trett, 69, said: “I am aware this is one of the options. As far as the ship goes, the friends are keen that it should actually be displayed, not stored, for obvious reasons.
“I’m very sympathetic to the council’s position. It seems central government is withdrawing funding and they are not taking responsibility for the withdrawing of funds.
“It could be the answer. You’ve got to have a look at everything else involved like how much space there is going to be for the ship and its objects and how much space there is going to be for the museum and the library.”
Several friends of the Newport Ship told the Argus they had been aware of the annexe proposals for weeks.
Another friend, Rhys Brooks, the webmaster of the Friends of the Newport Ship website, added: “It is one of the few options they are discussing. We’re going to have to wait to see what happens.
“It would give a very good position for the future of the Newport Ship but it would need to be decided by the Friends, Newport Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Assembly.”
Newport council yesterday declined to comment further on the museum relocation proposals and the potential building of a ship annexe.
A spokeswoman said: “Newport City Council will not be making any further comment on its financial situation or specific budget proposals or suggestions at present.
“A number of proposals are being developed and more information will be given on these later in the autumn."
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