Businesses in Newport city centre have welcomed the 450 Admiral staff who started work in the insurance company's new offices in Queensway yesterday.

A spokesman for Admiral said: "Local businesses are offering a range of great benefits to our staff. These include percentage discounts in bars and restaurants, money off haircuts at hairdressers, and free fairy cakes with every purchase in a bakery. It’s fantastic that they’re welcoming our staff into the city centre with such open arms."

The staff, who had been based at Langstone Business Park on the edge of the city since October 2008, are now housed in the specially built six-storey, 80,800 sq ft office block on Queensway, directly opposite Newport railway station.

Admiral Group CEO, Henry Engelhardt and COO, David Stevens were on hand to greet staff as they arrived for their first working day in the office.

Henry Engelhardt said: “It’s very exciting to move into our new offices in Newport city centre. The building itself looks fantastic and the location couldn’t be better. I’m sure our staff will be taking advantage of the local amenities and will be very happy working here.”

The new office’s proximity to Newport train and bus stations means getting to work will be easier for many staff, and more than 50 businesses in Newport city centre have contacted Admiral to offer discounts and special offers to its employees.

Rebecca Dymond, operations manager, said: “We’re all very excited about moving into to our new building. It looks fantastic and having such a lovely working environment will make our employees even happier in work. Being situated in the city centre not only provides easy access to shops, bars and restaurants for current staff, but will also make Admiral more appealing for future candidates especially given the train station is just a stone’s throw away. “

William Jones, claims liability, who lives in the Handpost area of Newport, said: “It’s really exciting to be situated in the centre of Newport and it’s a great opportunity to be working within the rapidly developing city centre. I will be able to walk to work as well which is going to be a great benefit financially, I won’t have to worry about parking and it will be great for my fitness too. The new building will be much more convenient for day-to-day things too and it will be great to be able to go to the bank or Post Office in my lunch break, plus I’m sure my colleagues and I will enjoy some drinks after work and with lots of bars and restaurants offering us discounts, we will have lots of choice.”

Ian Alderson, FROB, who lives near Caerphilly, said: "I can't wait to get into the new building. Not only will we be close to shops and restaurants for lunch breaks, but when I leave at night, I will be able to predict how long it takes to get to my son's school to collect him, instead of the daily lottery of travel through the Brynglas Tunnels. Hello relaxation and predictable journey times, goodbye stress, frustration and angry teachers.”

Admiral Group head of property and facilities management Huw Llewellyn said: “After three years of planning, re-planning and hard work from our internal teams, Newport Council, Scarborough and SDC, we’re delighted to have moved into our new offices.”

Admiral Group currently employs more than 5,000 staff in south Wales; 2,660 in Cardiff, 1,900 in Swansea and 450 in Newport. More than 80 staff currently working in Cardiff will be relocating to Newport city centre in September 2014.