A NEW coffee shop has opened on the former site of the historic The King William pub as part of a multi-million pound Welsh Government scheme.

Newport City Council received £14.9 million from the Welsh Government's Vibrant and Viable Places Scheme to regenerate ailing areas of the city.

Ahmed Alyufrusi, 28, of Commercial Street, Pill, is the owner of Coffee Thirst and believes the redevelopment is perfect for the city.

“It is a sign of things to come for the area,” he said.

“With what is happening in the city centre with Friars Walk and other projects, it is great to see Newport and the surrounding areas improving."

The shop sits below five apartments which were included in the redevelopment to revamp the building after years of neglect.

“There are four one-bed apartments and one three-bedroom,” said Mr Alyufrusi.

“All of them have already been rented out, which is a great sign that people are willing to come back to this area.”

After noticing the variety of food and drink available in Cardiff and Bristol, the businessman spotted a gap in the market in Newport.

“There’s nothing unique about Newport – you have the chains which offer certain products but it’s all the same.

“We offer waffles, crepes, paninis and ice cream. Having a range of different items will be key to our success.

“I’ll admit that I never liked coffee before, but since tasting and testing our products, I believe that our products will pass the customer taste test.”

Mr Alyufrusi hopes that Coffee Thirst will inspire a positive change among the Pill community, especially with the youth.

“There is nothing for them to do around here, especially when it was derelict,” he said.

“With all the regeneration and development – the future looks bright for Newport.”