ARGUS readers have called for plans to be put in place to reduce the number of empty shops in Newport city centre.

It comes after a joint effort by Newport City Council and Newport Now – the city centre’s Business Improvement District (Newport BID), was unveiled, outlining their plans to tackle one of the major issues in the centre - graffiti.

Anyone visiting Newport in recent months will struggle to have failed to see the spray painted eyesores, which decorate many shop fronts, along with street furniture.

But, businesses which have opted in to the BID’s levy will be able to tackle the problem at no extra cost going forward, as they are able to report the vandalism directly to the council, who will send crews out to remove the graffiti.

And, while it is hoped that it will make Newport city centre “a more welcoming place”, Argus readers have taken to social media to give their thoughts.

While the graffiti plan, for the most part, has been seen as welcome news, there have also been calls to take stronger measures to improve the image of the central shopping district.

The primary call has been to find a new use for the many empty shopping units dotted around the town, from the big spaces such as Debenhams, to smaller shops on Commercial Street.

Of course, that isn’t to say that there isn’t already plans under way to transform many of these, and bring them back into use.

Argus readers react to graffiti plans in Newport

The following comments were taken from the South Wales Argus Facebook page.

You can join in the discussion here.

Jen Pollock said: “But allowing graffiti art to brighten up some parts of our city would be a positive step forwards. Some of the art work under the M4 along the cycle path was phenomenal before it was painted over.”

Ryan West said: “More police on patrol. And courts actually handing our proper sentences.”

Barrie Sullivan said: “Perhaps If there wasn't so many closed shops providing such great canvases it may help..... Just saying.”

Vas Jabbar said: “Open shops might also help.”

Rachel Sutton said: “Maybe some actual shops. Maybe turn Debenhams into the old style Kingsway.”

Joshua Swypes Allman said: “Somewhere to shop would probably make it more desirable place to shop.”

Sian Peart said: “How about putting more decent shops there so people can actually shop.”

Nicky Richards said: “Making the city centre a more desirable place to shop? A good start would be to open some shops first.”

Mandy Edwardss said: “Taking the graffiti away isn't going to hide the boarded up windows and doors.”