A “SPECTACULAR” light and sound show projected on to Newport buildings could be one way Chartism is celebrated in the city, with almost £60,000 of funding available.

This year marks 175 years since 5,000 men arrived at the Westgate Hotel in Newport to demand parliamentary and social change. 22 of them were shot by troops.

It is one of the most dramatic moments in the city’s history and people want it to be remembered.

Chartist leader John Frost is already commemorated with a square named after him and Duffryn High School soon to be renamed in his honour.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, Newport West AM Dame Rosemary Butler, and Chartism expert Patrick Drewett formed a commission to consider how to mark the Chartists in this milestone year. They came up with four recommendations, which were presented to Newport City Council yesterday.

Permanent artwork along the route the Chartists marched down Stow Hill is one possibility. Another is a documentary film project working with Newport’s young people, while a bursary for schools teaching about the Chartists is another.

After the council demolished a mural showing the democracy protest movement while preparing to construct Friar’s Walk shopping mall, there was public outcry with some accusing the council of disrespect for its heritage.

In a report about how to celebrate the Chartists, the commission said: “This approach is an opportunity to move the discourse away from the Chartist Mural. Celebrating Chartism is not about replacing or reimagining this artwork. It is about art and democracy, about Chartism reinterpreted for the twenty-first century, what this means to Newport and what it can bring to Newport.”

Newport already has statues of the Chartists on Westgate Square, an annual schools march, and various seminars taking place.

But there is more scope to tell the story of Newport’s “unique selling point” creatively, the report said.

The Chartist movement was a mass movement of ordinary people, (men and women) right across Britain than began in the late 1830s and survived into the 1850s . It was focused on the six points of the People’s Charter calling for votes for all men aged 21 and over, equal electoral districts, payment of MPs, no property qualifications for MPs, the secret ballet and annual parliaments.

A light and sound show in Newport City Centre, lasting a full day in March 2016, would cost £30,000 and include projections on to buildings, including animation during the evening. There is a possibility this could become an annual event.

“The event must be spectacular and passionate,” the report said. “It should demonstrate Newport’s pride in its Chartist legacy and encourage community involvement. The works should not be in one area alone, but rather in pockets of activity, encouraging people to move around and reinvestigate their own city centre, viewing a familiar landscape through a different lens.”

Plans will now go to trustees of Newport Live, the trust which now runs the city's leisure centres and the Riverfront Theatre. The trust is likely to project manage the event.

University of South Wales film lecturer Fez Miah was suggested to coordinate a documentary film about the Chartists, taking on young people to help make it. Funding of £5,000 for the film has been agreed in principle by RTEF, in conjunction with a larger programme at Newport City Council.

A competition for schools with a £1,000 prize has also been proposed, with one idea for children to write their own ‘People’s Charter’ updated for the 21st century.

The overall budget for the Chartist Commission is £54,600.00 with an additional £5,000.00 for a Celebrating Chartist Film, making £59,600.00. £10,000 of this will go towards a project manager.

The Commissioners hope to interview artists to take part on August 5 with the launch event in March next year.