COUNCIL services and staff based at Newport’s Information Station could be relocated, as the local authority looks to find new commercial opportunities for the building.

Newport council is proposing to move staff and services from the ground and first floors of the Information Station in Queensway to the Central Museum and Library.

Services provided at the building include information about housing and council tax benefits, business rates, social services, child protection, access to supported employment, business rates and blue badges.

A council report says the high cost of the building lease means it is “effectively a wasting asset” - and that there could be opportunities to generate income by sub-leasing it.


Cardiff University’s National Software Academy is based on the upper three floors, and the council says the building is “likely to attract market interest” from others to share the space.

Council bosses say Newport’s museum and library would also provide a “more accessible location” for residents to access services.

A council report says there is a “chronic lack” of co-working facilities in Newport, with demand for space exceeding supply and acting as  “a significant barrier to economic growth.”

“Newport must rebalance its ratio of space allocated to retail and quality office space, if the city centre is to secure a greater number of knowledge-intensive jobs and thrive,” the report says.

The Information Station, which opened in 2012, is said to offer a “prime location” for a tech-focused space for small to medium-sized enterprises.

Potential occupiers canvassed during a “soft market test” are said to have responded favourably to the opportunity.

Relocation of services could also boost footfall in the library and museum, providing a “one stop shop” offer for residents, it is said.

A report says the Information Station will “enjoy vastly improved accessibility and presence at the heart of the redeveloped Friars Walk” in the new location.

Newport council’s cabinet is set to allocate £350,000 for the project, while the authority has applied for Welsh Government funding of £1.4 million, with a decision on the award expected this month.

The money will pay for a “high quality” fit out of the Information Station and a refurbishment of the museum and library.

A business case has shown the scheme will bring a financial return for the council if it achieves the rent expected.

Newport’s cabinet will meet on Wednesday to discuss proceeding with a plan to  seek opportunities to commercialise the Information Station, and relocating staff and services, on the basis that Welsh Government funding and new occupiers are secured.