NEWPORT council has assured city residents that plans are still in place for the partial reconstruction of the Festival Clock after a photo emerged of the artwork being stored in the open.

Around a year ago a Newport cabinet member gave the green light for the much-loved timepiece to be rebuilt and displayed on a roundabout near Llanwern's Glan Llyn development. Its not clear precisely when it will be rebuilt but the authority says it will happen later this year.

The statement came after a Facebook user posted this photo of the structure in a yard at Newport Docks on the Argus page.

The picture, posted by 'Jimbo Blue', asked if anyone could "explain why this is down the docks?"

Allan Morris, Lliswerry Labour councillor, said the animated clock was "something that Newport people were justifiably proud of."

"It shouldn't be lying there like it's in a scrap yard. It should be on display," he said.

The structure had originally cost £100,000 to build for the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival in 1992.

Under current plans the artwork, known as In the Nick of Time, would be able to tell the time but would not open up on the hour in the way that had attracted crowds to its previous home of Newport city centre.

Developers St Modwen offered up to £10,000 for the project, aiming to save £8,000 in annual storage costs.

Nick Webb of the Newport Civic Society said it was "news to him" that the clock was currently in pieces at the city's docks.

He said the clock of considerable concern to members of the civic society.

"We would like to see the clock rebuilt sooner rather than later," he said.

A council spokeswoman said: "Plans to locate the clock at the entrance to the city's newest community are in place.

"The Nick of Time clock is out of permanent storage ready to be reassembled and sited on the gateway roundabout of Glan Llyn later this year.

"St Modwen, The developers of the former Llanwern steelworks site, have paid for the reinstatement of the clock as a static working timepiece."

The clock was put in storage in preparation for the initial Friars Walk scheme in 2008.

In 2011 several proposals were made for its future, including private sale, scrapping it, keeping it in storage, restoring it and relocating it. The cost of refurbishment was expected to be £59,000 with maintenance costs of £21,000.

The then-Tory/Lib Dem cabinet decided against scrapping the clock in 2012 following public feedback, including a Facebook campaign.