A PLAN to turn Newport's only remaining city centre cinema into a budget hotel was given the green light by councillors.

Mint Blue intend to convert the City Cinema in Bridge Street into a 62-bed Travelodge.

However, a new multi-screen theatre is due to be created in another part of the city centre.

Members of the city council's planning committee were told the cinema - which once boasted the largest auditorium in South Wales, had been unprofitable for a number of years.

"The developer has stated that he has investigated several alternatives in recent years but, other than the Travelodge, nothing has been found to work commercially."

A report to councillors added that there were no similar hotels in the city centre and the Travelodge would provide a use for a commercially unviable building as well as support other businesses in the area.

At the moment the cinema is essentially a "brick box" filling the majority of the site.

A number of businesses in the lower ground floor, facing onto Station Street, will be unaffected by the proposal.

All the bedrooms will be located on the perimeter of the building and will receive natural light from windows which are due to be installed in what are presently blank facades.

A parking deck with 10 spaces is also proposed.

Newport Civic Society welcomed the proposal, saying "this type of hotel is not available elsewhere in the city centre".

A multi-screen cinema is due to be built as part of the Modus scheme Friars Walk.

Work is due to begin on the multi-million pound centre - which will also have stores, apartments and a hotel - this Spring and is expected to be completed in 2010.