THE tallest building in Newport, along with the former BHS store in the city centre and a number of other shops, has been sold to a developer for £6.5 million.

Cardiff-based property developer Garrison Barclay Estates has bought the 15-storey Chartist Tower and a group of surrounding shops, including the former BHS, from Newport City Council.

The company, which is also behind the redevelopment of the former sorting office in Mill Street, is now working with the council on “a number of options” to regenerate the building.

Garrison Barclay’s development director Ian Carter said: “We are extremely excited by the acquisition of Chartist Tower and the redevelopment opportunities that are now under consideration.

“Newport is a city with a long and proud history which over the past couple of years has had a real resurgence.

“The construction of Friars Walk shopping centre which is adjacent to the building has seen the city centre become a destination again, as developers of Newport’s tallest building we are looking forward to continuing our positive work with Newport City Council.”

Council leader Cllr Debbie Wilcox welcomed the announcement, calling it “brilliant news”.

“Confidence in Newport is growing,” she said.

“We’re getting increased interest from companies that can see the city’s potential and want to do business here.

“As a council, we want to do everything we can to see the city thrive and grow as this will bring benefits to those who live here.

“That means we have to be bold and innovative to ensure those opportunities do not slip through our fingers but become a reality as soon as possible.”

The deal was negotiated alongside property management firm JLL.

Director of capital markers with JLL Justin Millett said: “The previous owners of the building have worked closely with Newport council and Garrison Barclay Estates over a long period to extinguish their long leasehold interests and to explore what is possible for the building, so that the property is now released for redevelopment.

“Chartist Tower is arguably the most prominent, landmark building in Newport city centre and this is the first stage of an exciting transformation.”