A DILAPIDATED arcade in the centre of Newport will be restored to its former glory thanks to a grant of more than £1.1 million from the National Lottery.

Last year Newport City Council submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for funding to restore the Grade II listed Market Arcade, which has fallen into disrepair in recent years.

And now it has been revealed the bid has been successful.

Council leader Cllr Debbie Wilcox said: “This is another brilliant piece of news for the city centre and I would like to thank all those involved in the successful bid – council officers, owners, members of the community and schools and, of course, the National Lottery players without whom none of it would be possible.

“The regeneration of the city centre remains a key focus for my administration and we are working with a range of partners to find innovative ways of breathing new life into key areas such as Market Arcade.

“Residents have all ages, from schoolchildren to older residents with fond memories of the arcade in better days, have taken part in the development phase and have been fascinated by the history of the arcade so it is also significant that this project will help to preserve and enhance a piece of Newport’s heritage for generations to come.”

The arcade opened in 1869 as a pedestrian link between the railway station and the then-new provisions market. It was originally called Fennell’s Arcade.

In August last year the council was handed £400,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to prepare the full bid after it was revealed the arcade had been blighted by pest infestations, anti-social behaviour and a lack of business, with a number of units unoccupied for some time.

The council's cabinet member for regeneration and housing Cllr Jane Mudd also welcomed the news.

“This fantastic news is the result of a considerable amount of hard work by officers and volunteers over the last two years, working with the property owners, tenants and the wider community," she said.

“It is important to stress that this a long term project and there are a number of things that will need to happen before the physical works on the arcade can start but it is hoped that construction work will begin before spring next year and will take about 15 months.”

And head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales Richard Bellamy said: “This is brilliant news for Newport and restoring the historic Market Arcade will be a great boost for the city. This important asset will be given a new lease of life and made relevant for people today, so it can regain its place as part of the beating heart of Newport - for the good of the local community as well as visitors to the city.”