THE Kingsway Centre is a small yet lively and bustling area of Newport.

Adjacent to Friars Walk’s promenade of high-street retailers, Kingsway’s stretch of shops can often be overlooked – but it is home to some proud and friendly independent businesses.

As you enter from the car park, you’re greeted with a stylishly designed and modern looking barber shop.


Joshua Barnard, team leader at Kingsway Barber’s, said he “absolutely loves” working in the Kingsway.

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Joshua Barnard with Connor Morgan in Kingsway Barber's

“It is a really good place. It’s really welcoming and it’s good for the customers, having the huge car park," he said.

“Every day we have someone new coming in for a haircut,” he added.

That’s despite the barber’s running for close to four years.

“We get a lot of workers from around town and from Friars Walk.

“We help bring the two sites together, it’s one big family really.”

And this sense of community between trades is echoed by Rob Barber, who runs Kingsway Soft Play – where children can play for an unlimited time in the ball-pit, bouncy castle and inflatables.

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Rob Barber

“All the staff here are really friendly, I would say it is like one big community," he said.

“We all go for a cup of tea together now and then.”

Mr Barber, from Stow Hill, says all the traders “welcome everyone”.

The Kingsway Soft Play manager added that “trade was quiet at the start, but it has now picked up”.

“We get a lot of people passing and looking in so it’s quite a good location.”

Indeed, this passing footfall is something that entices Louise Catow, owner of an independent stall selling jewellery, incense, gems, nightmare catchers and other quirky items.

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Louise Catow

“We’ve dipped in and out over the last seven year,” she says.

Her stall is stationed in the middle of the walkway that leads to the centre’s entrance.

“The steady footfall definitely helps.

“It definitely gets busier around Christmas and we are here right up until Christmas Eve.”

And Bubble Trouble, which moved in a year ago and offers an array of exotic bubbled teas, has also experienced the benefits of being in the Kingsway.

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Bubble Trouble. Picture: Icon Creative

“More and more people are starting to know about us and walk by our shop,” said owner Greg Klusoczki.

“We like being in the Kingsway and we get on with all the other traders.”

One of the Kingsway’s latest additions is Rae Barton’s fresh fruit and vegetable store which stands just around the bend leading from the carpark.

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The fresh fruit and veg store is proving popular

Sharon Seccker, who was working on the till, said customers were “not used to seeing something like this being in a place like this”.

Rae Barton’s has been a fixture of Newport Market since 1906 – they still have a stall in the market but decided to set up a further one this year.

“We have been in three months and it has gone really well.

“People like it, the food is fresh.

“The quality factor brings people back.”

Susannah Bulpin, Tenant Liaison Manager added: “As a centre we have always looked to support small, independent businesses.

“We currently have several independents who bring a uniqueness.”