THE Newport Now Business Improvement District launched its 2020-25 Business Plan last week with an event for levy payers and other stakeholders at the Riverfront Theatre.

Newport Now is in its fifth and final year of operation and levy payers will decide whether to renew it for a further five years via a postal ballot that opens on Thursday, October 31, and closes on Thursday, November 28.

Newport Now BID – a private not-for-profit company financed by its members via a small levy based on their rateable value – will have invested more than £1.2 million delivering business-led initiatives by the end of its five-year term next March.


The 2020-25 business plan sets out Newport Now’s priorities for its second term and follows an extensive consultation during the summer that saw more than 350 businesses contacted face-to-face, and a detailed online survey.

The consultation indicated most city centre businesses wanted the BID to continue delivering the projects and services it has provided since 2015.

If the BID receives a yes vote during the November ballot, its second term will begin next April. Current projects will continue – including the street ambassadors, Savings Advisory Service, Newport gift card, shopfront improvement grants, and the delivery or sponsorship of events like Countdown to Christmas, the Festival of Classics, Record Store Day and the Big Splash.

Newport Now also plans to provide a taxi marshal service at an appropriate rank on Friday and Saturday nights, and to help the night-time economy by applying successfully for Purple Flag status.

A renewed Newport Now would also extend the BID area to include parts of Clarence Place, Rodney Parade, the east riverfront, Mill Street, parts of Clytha Park Road and the former Sainsbury’s site on Wyndham Street.

The changes will allow a renewed BID to invest more than £1.3 million in the city centre between 2020 and 2025.

The BID’s 2020-25 business plan is available to download from the News section of the BID’s website

By Kevin Ward, manager, Newport Now Business Improvement District