ANOTHER hotel could be built in Newport's regenerated city centre in time to accommodate some of the floods of visitors expected for the Ryder Cup in 2010.

A proposal to convert the City Cinema in Bridge Street into a 62-bedroom Travelodge was submitted to the council and is likely to come before planners in the near future.

The proposed £4 million three-storey hotel would see the cinema heavily refurbished and extended, with a 10-space car park built on the site.

More than 60 windows would be inserted into the current brickwork.

Developers Mint Blue Ltd, who are behind the new £15 million shopping complex being built in Cwmbran, said in the application that Newport city centre has a "deficit of hotel accommodation".

John Ives, director of Mint Blue, said he hoped work could start as early as April, pending the application outcome. The hotel would then be finished before Christmas this year.

Last January, community leaders were warning the city faced a "major shortfall" of hotel space to accommodate around 250,000 fans expected to watch the prestigious golfing tournament at the Celtic Manor.

Since then a number of new hotels - including several in or near the city centre - have received the go-ahead or are in the pipeline.

They include plans for a 100-bed hotel in the City Spires complex; accommodation for 118 guests in Friars Walk; the 124-bedroom Ramada Encore in Old Town Dock and the £11 million Plazastyle hotel, with 120 beds, on the Celtic Springs Business Park.

Some hotels in Newport are already booked up for the Ryder Cup and private homes are also being rented out to visitors.

As we reported last year, the New Inn Motel on Chepstow Road was block-booked five years ago by an American sports firm.

For many years, the cinema in Bridge Street - formerly the ABC - was the only movie house in the city centre although films are shown at the Riverfront Theatre.

But a multi-screen cinema is due to be built as part of the Modus Corovest £200 million Friars Walk scheme.