THE new owner of a once thriving social club is determined he can bring it back to the heart of its community.

At 12pm on May 20, Nick Portman, 43, current landlord of the Golden Hart in Newport, opened the doors of the Baneswell Social Club in Stow Hill, his new project which he is determined to bring it back to its glory days.

With 10 years experience in the pub trade Mr Portman is confident he can make the club thrive again.

"I want to get that club back to the way it was," he said.

"This will get the community back together."

Mr Portman, of Baneswell, used to run the Oddfellows and Foresters Arms located in the Baneswell and is confident his knowledge of the area will bring custom through the doors.

"Baneswell is my stomping ground," he said.

"I know the people in that area, I know what they want, they are fantastic people and if they can help you they will."

To encourage custom Mr Portman plans to give free membership to new members, along with holding quiz nights, bingo, live entertainment, comedy and medium nights and a function room to be hired out, to make it thrive once more.

"It was so busy back in the day."

He recognised the current climate was not great for business but said with the right attitude there is no reason why it cannot succeed.

"Things are tough, I speak for many business in Newport," he said.

"Trying to keep these places open is quite a mission, you have to be dedicated.

"I don't give up."

For Mr Portman having a social club like the Baneswell is an asset to the community.

"The community has always been there for me," he said.

"They are not just customers, they are like friends.

"I want to give people a place they can go rather than sitting in their house staring at four walls.

"It gives people a place to go and socialise, relax and be themselves."

The club has been open for two days now and Mr Portman is looking forward to what the future holds.

"It is taking off," he said.

"I think it is going to be slow but we will get there."