A £2 MILLION injection of Welsh Government funding has been granted to carry on the transformation of the tallest building in Newport.

The Chartist Tower is undergoing a massive transformation to turn it into a four-star hotel, 154-bed hotel and restaurant, bringing nearly 50 new jobs to the city centre.

The £2 million package is a mix of grant and loan funding from Visit Wales and the Welsh Government’s Targeted Regeneration Investment (TRI) programme, which will provide £100m of capital support across Wales over three years for regeneration projects.

It's understood that £1.25million comes from the TRI programme, split between £600,000 of loan funding and £650,000 of grant funding. A further £700,000 comes from tourism funding, with 50 per cent set to be repaid.

South Wales Argus:

(Newport's Chartist Tower)

Newport City Council has worked in close collaboration with Garrison Barclay Estates (GBE), who have taken a long lease on the Chartist Tower and work is underway to transform the building into a four-star Mercure branded hotel with 154 beds, gym, sauna, breakfast room and roof top restaurant with city-wide views.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "The refurbishment of the building is a pivotal development in the next phase of sustainable investment and regeneration for Newport, and is ideally placed to capitalise on business tourism associated with the opening of the new international convention centre ICC Wales.

South Wales Argus:

(Artist's impression)

"The project will create 45.5 new jobs and assist a further 15 with a view to being open during summer 2019. The tower development will also include a lower retail floor, leisure and office space, as well as a roof top restaurant on the 15th floor."

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn said he looked forward to the project breathing new life into a local landmark, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, added: “The development of this high quality hotel right in the centre of Newport is very welcome news and I’m delighted that the Welsh Government has been able to support what will become an iconic development for the city. This development is in line with our tourism strategy which prioritises high quality, ambitious projects - and with plans to incorporate the Chartist name and history the development also seeks to draw on local history and culture – giving a strong sense of place.”

South Wales Argus:

(Artist's impression)

Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “We have been working closely with Garrison Barclay to help this exciting project come to fruition and I’m delighted that our bid to the Welsh Government to secure some financial support was successful.

“We are very much looking forward to the opening of this development which will contribute to our long-term ambition to have a more diverse offer in the city centre to enhance its vitality and sustainability.”

Although the planning application passed unanimously through the council last year, concerns were raised about the longevity of a hotel in a city centre that wouldn't come with parking.