AN INTERNATIONAL hotel chain has agreed a 10-year franchise to open up shop in Newport’s Chartist Tower as part of a £12million development that could bring 350 jobs to the city.

Hotel company Mercure, a midscale brand with 756 hotels in 55 countries, are set to move in by summer 2019, according to contractors Garrison Barclay.

The opening could coincide with the opening of the new £84m convention centre (ICC Wales) at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

The contractors have also confirmed that planning permission for a 163-bed hotel was submitted to Newport City Council on Friday, May 18.

Plans include a top floor restaurant affording spectacular views across the city.

Subject to planning, the work will start in August.

As well as the hotel, a spokesman for Garrison Barclay told the South Wales Argus that 30,000 sq ft of office space and 18,000 sq ft of retail space is include in the plans.

The retail and office spaces inside the tower is under offer to “national occupiers” who are awaiting the applications successful outcome, added the spokesman.

These spaces could be ready for occupancy as early as January, 2019.

Andrew Innes, of Garrison Barclay Estates, said: ‘’Our application of retail, office and hotel will generate over 350 jobs for the city centre of Newport.

“We are very proud of the team efforts to put all of this together from design and planning of this unique opportunity within five months of acquisition.

“Normally this would have been at least 18 months of planning works. We are excited to work on this project and looking forward to welcoming our new tenants pending planning approval.”

The 15-storey Chartist Tower was sold to the Cardiff-based property developers Estates back in December, 2017.

The tallest building in Newport, along with the former BHS store in the city centre and a number of other shops, was snapped up by Garrison Barclay for £6.5 million.

When the sale of the tower was announced Mr Carter said: “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.”

The company is also behind the redevelopment of the former sorting office in Mill Street, which recently saw a national hotel chain pull out of negotiations.