2021 will forever be remembered in Newport, as children from one of the city's primary schools presented a time capsule to builders at Market Arcade.

The seven-figure restoration project on Market Arcade began last year.

Work includes the restoration of the shopfronts and refurbishment of the glazed canopy.

The restoration of Market Arcade has, in part, been funded by The National Lottery.

The National Lottery - through its Heritage Lottery Find arm - was sufficiently impressed with those restoration plans to, in 2018, award £1.1 million towards the cause and Cadw and the Welsh Government are also involved.

Children from St Woolos Primary School attended the site today, Thursday, to hand over a time capsule.

That will be buried at a later date, when the new flooring is put in, for future generations to uncover.

Steffan Ellis, from Newport City Council explained how the project came about.

He said: "As part of the Heritage Lottery Funding, it was part of our responsibility to provide an activity plan, working with St Woolos Primary School.

"I have been going up there looking at the activities they could do.

"Because of Covid we initially thought we wouldn't even be able to go into the school, but luckily they invited us in, we showed them a video about the Arcade and it went from there.

"They really liked the idea of a time capsule. Initially it was going to be hypothetical but we realised last week that although we couldn't bury it yet, we could put one together."

Jill Lewis added: "The activity plan is as important as the restoration to ensure that everybody is enjoying the Arcade, and can benefit from it.

"Especially the children because they are the ones who are going to be shopping here in the future."


And Market Arcade has a history of special discoveries.

Earlier this year, decorators involved in the restoration made an "amazing discovery".

The work has uncovered an inscription on the floor dating back to 1905.

While the arcade was built in 1869, it was given a makeover and expanded in 1905.

Newport City Council tweeted: "An amazing discovery at the Market Arcade. Our decorators have uncovered writing from 1905!

"What do you think the writing says?"

Around that time Market Arcade was known as Fennell's Arcade.

Work on the restoration of Market Arcade is expected to be completed in November.