AMBITIOUS plans to make Newport’s iconic Transporter Bridge “a world class heritage attraction” and provide it with a sustainable future have been lodged with the council.

Proposals include demolishing the existing visitor centre and replacing it with a modern, bigger one.

Repairs and restoration work which will extend the operational life of the bridge by 25-30 years are also proposed.

The scheme is part of a £10million Heritage Fund project to secure the future of the iconic structure, one of five remaining operational transporter bridges worldwide.

South Wales Argus:

An artist\'s impression of the bridge and new visitor centre

A design and access statement says the project aims to support the regeneration and ‘repositioning’ of Newport as a visitor destination.

Its ambitions include making the bridge “the best visitor attraction in Wales”, bringing national and international visitors to the city.

“The focus of this project is to carry out much needed repairs to ensure a further generation enjoys this experience and to complete the Transporter Bridge’s transformation from humble transport infrastructure asset to a must-see visitor attraction in the South Wales region,” a design and access statement says.


An application says the current visitor centre is too small, and that for the site to develop as an attraction, a larger facility is needed.

Currently around 16-20,000 people visit the attraction every year, but the project aims to boost numbers to 55,000 in the first year and 45,000 thereafter.

The new visitor centre will act as a resource for the community, catering for a variety of functions with community rooms, event spaces and a new café overlooking the bridge.

It will come with an exhibition space to provide a “proper interpretation” of the bridge and its history.

A walkway in the centre will also  recreate the experience of walking across the bridge, including wind and sound effects, catering for those unable to climb the many steps.

South Wales Argus:

An exhibition space within the visitor centre will celebrate the iconic bridge\'s history. Picture: Creative Core

Newport council was awarded initial development funding of £1,052,800 last year to progress their plans.

A council spokesman said the new visitor centre has been designed by AWW Architects to be “both contemporary in nature but reflect the area’s rich industrial history and architecture.”

Chris Mitchell, architect and director of AWW said: “We are delighted to contribute to these exciting proposals through the design of a new building that will enhance the Transporter Bridge, helping to create a world class heritage attraction in Newport.”