MUSIC fans can get their fix, with a former market trader unveiling his new store in Newport city centre.

With work to regenerate Market Arcade in Newport well under way - and the project set to be completed mid-January 2022 - reporter Leah Powell popped in for a chat with Dean Beddis, of Kriminal Records.

The punk rocker was based in Newport Market - which is also nearing completion of a huge redevelopment project - but has been opeating online only for around 18 months. Prior to that he'd owned the business for 11 years and worked in the market since 1986.

Kriminal Records offers a range of vinyl, records, and CDs and helps celebrate Record Store Day - an annual event since it first emerged in 2007.

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For Mr Beddis it's not just a business, but a huge part of his life as he is passionate about music and sharing that passion with the community.

The community spirit can already be felt at the new premises - based in the former OSSS shop in Market Arcade - with people waving as they passed by and a friend of Mr Beddis popping in for a cuppa and an enthusastic chat about the history of Bob Marley.

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“I’ve been trying to scrape it together online while I’ve had no shop,” said Mr Beddis.

“I had already been looking into setting up shop in Market Arcade and when I heard about the development I thought ‘wow, I’ll see if I can give it a go’.

“It’s great to be part of the music scene again, seeing old friends and traders, and it’s so nice to be able so see people and to speak one to one.

“Covid has been hard on everyone – financially and mentally – and the beauty of talking to people is the [positive] impact it can have on mental health.”

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Kriminal Records - in its current base - opened at the end of November following cleaning, tidying, and building. With an eco-friendly focus Mr Beddis used recycled wood at the store; the only thing he bought for the new store was some screws.

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The shop front has also had a facelift and the gates which have been introduced to the arcade's entrances prevent anti-social behaviour in the arcade at nightime. 

At a time of change - both positive and negative - for Newport, Mr Beddis has hope for the city centre. 

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"It’s a shame about Debenham’s [closing] and Admiral [set to close their Newport branch] but there’s a bit of hope for the market and for town,” said Mr Beddis.

“More shops will mean more reasons for people to come into town again – I hope the future is better.

“Rent in Market Arcade is approachable at the moment, so there’s lot of opportunity for people to start their own small business – people can take that little leap to get into shops and get support.”

Kriminal Records is open between 9.30am and 4.30pm from Monday to Saturday in the lead-up to Christmas. After Christmas 2021 the store will be open from 9.30am to 4.30pm from Tuesday to Saturday.