A CHARITY has been granted a lease to regenerate an area of Newport which has attracted anti-social behaviour and turn it into an attractive community space.

Maindee Unlimited plan to transform land known as ‘Maindee Triangle’, situated between Chepstow Road and Livingston Place, into a pleasant location with a community garden, cafe and refurbished public toilets which have been closed since 2017.

Newport City Council approved granting the charity a 99-year lease of the land to allow a community asset transfer of the site on Thursday.

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An artist's impression of the transformed toilet block. Pictures: Karsten Huneck/Maindee Unlimited

It is the latest project by the charity aiming to create new outdoor spaces for the community to enjoy.


“We are very enthusiastic and excited about the prospect of regenerating the Triangle,” said John Hallam, programme manager and volunteer at Maindee Unlimited, which was formed in 2015 following a campaign which aimed to save St Matthew’s Church from being closed.

“The Victoria ward has got the least amount of open recreation space of any area in Newport and it is also one of the most densely populated.

“That’s why we are making outdoor spaces a priority.”

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The toilet block in Maindee, Newport. Picture: Karsten Huneck/Maindee Unlimited

As part of its ‘Greening Maindee’ strategy, the charity is working with others on several projects in the city.

Land at the corner of Wharf Road and Corporation Road has been turned into a community garden and fruit trees have been planted along a strip of land near the Newport Bus terminal in Corporation Road in other projects by the group.

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Flowers at the St Mary's Community Garden in Maindee

The group is perhaps best known for its success in taking on the running of Maindee Library, which it saved just days before it was due to close in 2015.

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Maindee Library

“As a charity we are working with lots of other groups and trying to act as a broad pair of shoulders where it’s needed,” Mr Hallam said.

“Taking on public toilets is quite a big task as they have got to be cleaned and maintained.”

But the scheme which is estimated to cost around £300,000 – with funding partly already secured from the National Lottery, Landfill Communities Fund and a Welsh Government grant – has the backing of residents and shopkeepers on Chepstow Road who say the lack of public toilets puts people off coming to the area.

The first part of the project will involve bringing the outdoor space back into use, with work planned to start in September.

Residents say the site has become almost unusable, with reports of drug use and people urinating and defecating there.

A climbing wall is also planned on the site, along with a public sculpture and play equipment.

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An artist's impression of the transformed toilet block. Pictures: Karsten Huneck/Maindee Unlimited

“What we want to do is not just bring that space back into use but also improve the area with some landscaping so that it is beautiful,” added Mr Hallam, who has worked on the scheme with project manager John Stone and Jo Sutton from the charity among others.

The toilet block will then be brought back into use and refurbished to provide a meeting space, with a kitchen to provide catering for meetings and a cafe also planned in the future.

John Griffiths, MS for Newport East, welcomed the news a lease has been granted.

“I have worked closely with the group over the last few years and I’ve seen how committed they and the local councillors have been in making this part of Maindee greener and more accessible for everyone,” he said.

“The refurbishments of the toilets and the addition of a community café will also make a big difference to the community.”