NEWPORT'S city centre is enjoying something of a purple patch, with recent good weather, sporting events, and the reopening of the market bringing crowds in.

It is a completely different story when compared to a period of a few days nearly three months ago – when Newport and the surrounding South Wales area was a complete wash out.

In mid-February, the city resembled a ghost town, as torrential rain, and fierce winds drenched and battered any souls brave enough to step outside.

But, while the city largely survived unscathed – with the exception of a few roofs and trees - one long-lasting legacy remains, and it can be found in one of the city’s busiest areas.

Smack bang in Newport city centre, in Commercial Street, the empty former Next store remains fenced off from the public, after Storm Eunice caused some masonry to fall from the upper storey of the building down on to the pedestrianised pavement below.

Thankfully, the poor weather was already keeping most people away at the time, and no one had the misfortune of standing below at the time.

But, with safety concerns remaining in place, the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service initially cordoned the site off.

Later, this cordon was replaced by fencing, warning people of overhead “danger”.

Now, nearly three months later, the situation remains exactly the same, with that same fencing remaining.

With the summer fast approaching, and the streets of the city seeing increased levels of activity, there is a slight feeling that this section of Commercial Street is now something of an eyesore.

But, with no signs of life inside the building, and no obvious work being carried out externally, the future of the premises is currently a mystery.

The Argus understands that the premises, like the majority on Commercial Street, is privately-owned.

But, with both fashion retailers Next and The Outlet both leaving the ground floor retail space, and the upper floors seemingly empty, it is unclear how much in the way of day-to-day input is offered by the owners.

A Grade II-listed property, it is currently on the market to let, at a cost of £60,000 per annum.

This includes the ground and first floor retail space, and top floor storage space.

That being said, it is possible that they are the ones responsible for installing the fencing in the first place, with Newport City Council confirming that it was not of their doing.

In any case, the masonry high up above the street remains damaged, and with no signs of life, it remains to be seen when the building might be restored to its former glory.