Work to open a new job centre inside Newport’s Kingsway shopping centre continues.

Earlier this year, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was granted planning permission to open the site, which is designed to support people who have been left out of work due to the pandemic.

But, despite the job centre being opened in Newport due to increased demand, The Argus understands that this will not be operational until the new year.

Early in September, Newport City Council granted planning permission to convert the former Peacocks clothing retailer at 31 Kingsway, bringing the otherwise empty unit back into use.

But, work appeared to have started on the site as early as mid-August, with pictures showing construction crews on site, and work starting, to some degree.

Several months later, the interior of the former shop has been stripped out.

While it is clear that a significant amount of work is still needed ahead of opening, construction appears to be continuing at pace.

A DWP spokesman has stopped short of confirming an opening date, but gave a timeline which suggests that an early 2022 date could be on the cards.

Continuing, he said this is “all moving along as planned.”

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Statement from the DWP in full

A DWP spokesman told the Argus: “The site was only formally confirmed in September, and it’s normally the case that it takes three-to-four months to fit out a new premises, so it’s all moving along as planned.”

Previously, a spokeswoman for the government department said: “The DWP is exploring potential options to take premises on a temporary basis in various locations across the country.

“Any new site is temporary and is in addition to existing provision and any decisions on new premises and contracts will be available on”

Once open, it is not known how long the job centre will be situated at the site for, though the DWP has confirmed to the South Wales Argus that their plans for the Kingsway Centre retail space form part of a bigger scheme to open temporary job centres at this time.

Similar premises have already been opened in Cardiff, Swansea, Wrexham, and a large number of towns and cities across the border in England, and Scotland.