NEWPORT’S International Convention Centre Wales has been given permission to host business conferences, live entertainment and sporting events once it opens later this year.

Boxing, wrestling, plays, film and dance exhibitions will be licensed at the £84 million venue, which holds 5,000 people, though bosses maintain that corporate events will dominate the events calendar.

The licence also allows alcohol to be served and music played until the early hours of the morning, which had prompted concern about noise amongst residents living nearby.

But convention centre director Nancy Mollett moved to allay such fears at a Newport City Council licensing hearing on Tuesday.

“The majority of the events will be fairly boring, and our licensing application makes it sound more exciting than it is,” admitted Ms Mollett.

“This venue isn’t about drinking and evening entertainment, and it will mainly hold conferences and exhibitions in our main hall.

“The application is for a blanket licence, not because we aspire to do these activities but to ensure we have the provision there to prepare for it.”


According to Ms Mollett, the Commonwealth Games had expressed interest in using the venue for a future exhibition.

If boxing or wrestling events were to be held, ICC Wales would have to notify the council and Gwent Police, with responsible authorities having the right to veto.

Similar notice must also be given for public event bookings which want alcohol to be sold past 2.30am.

Coldra resident Joyce Jones had objected to the application seeking permission to hold events, accompanied by the sale of alcohol, around the clock, seven days a week.

While supportive of the convention centre, Mrs Jones said: “It’s the noise of outdoor events that’s concerning me, and the 24-hour alcohol licensing for 5,000 people.

Ms Mollett said the convention centre’s outdoor plaza could be used only for extra exhibition space and could not be hired out for a live music event.

She added that it was not the intention of ICC Wales to have 5,000 people drinking all night, and that conditions within the licence would restrict them from doing so.

Concerns were also raised by Mrs Jones, and fellow resident Lee Parks, about a lack of consultation regarding the licensing application.

Mrs Jones said: “We had one little sign attached to a lamppost, and I was disturbed that nobody on the Coldra knew about it.”

The meeting heard that by placing a notice in the South Wales Argus and near the application site, the council had met legal requirements as set by the UK government.

Licensing applications have different regulations to planning applications, where letters are sent directly to properties set to be affected by the proposed development.