NEWPORT has changed greatly in recent years - and is becoming a hotspot for independent traders.

Newport Market reopened in March 2021 following a huge redevelopment project by LoftCo with an array of new independent food and trade offerings housed in the historical building. Market Arcade, based opposite the side entrances to the markets, has also been restored with traders - including Kriminal Records - setting up shop there.

Further work to bring life back to this part of the city centre has been carried out at Newport Arcade, which has been given a facelift and recently welcomed numerous new independent businesses.

Arcadia Coffee House and Harrison Rabbit Hair Studio now occupy the High Street entrance to the arcade.

Harrison Rabbit Hair Studio was previously based in a much smaller unit on Clytha Park Road - which now houses Natasha Marie Hair - but moved into the arcade in July 2022.

A spokesman from Harrison Rabbit said it was a "bittersweet moment" to move, after three years in the previous unit, which allowed the salon to hire a new stylist and make use of additional space. 

South Wales Argus:

The addition means there are two hair salons based in the Victorian arcade which is also home to Nuthouse Hair Design.

Meanwhile, Arcadia Coffee House is an independent cafe which opened in November 2022 and is still proving popular according to manager Maria Castaldo, who is originally from Newport.

“It’s been going really well, so I can’t complain,” said Ms Castaldo.

“I thought after Christmas business might die down, but so far it’s been really good.

“We have lots of regulars and lots of new people who are coming in.

“Customers have said they like the quirky atmosphere and good music; the regeneration is great for here – it’s what we need. Long may it continue.”

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Dandy Gallery – which already has a Cardiff store – opened in Newport Arcade earlier this month. The antiques shop sells decorative recycled and upcycled antiques and offers furniture repair.

The business is owned by Chris Clinkard who said he is "proud" to be part of the arcade and suggested the store will have some "hidden gems" on offer for the people of Newport.

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He praised Newport for its diversity and local businesses.

Many of the existing traders weren't around when we paid a visit, but on Small Business Saturday - just over a month ago - Lesley Skiffington, of Heart of the Home, said that footfall and support are key to helping local businesses.

Another new addition to the arcade is plant shop Nettle & Bark, which was previously run by Will Green and Alexia McCalmont-Green but was taken over by Emma Hargreaves and relocated from Clytha Park Road.

Ms Hargreaves lives in Newport and said taking over the shop was a “dream come true” for her with her aiming to create a community of plant lovers in the city which she described as a "little plant oasis". 

South Wales Argus:

Currently Nettle & Park opens on Fridays and Saturdays only from 10am to 4pm.

Along with some long established businesses based in the arcade - including The Pot Cafe, Freestyle skate shop, and the Jewellery Repair Workshop - Ffoto Newport is also setting up shop in the historical building, relocating from its Market Arcade unit.

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Ieaun Berry, who founded Ffoto Newport, said the "support we have had over the last year has allowed us to expand" and was pleased that the new premises would offer more space while remaining among independent retailers.

South Wales Argus:

These are the businesses currently based on the ground floor of Newport Arcade:

  • Nettle & Bark;
  • Freestyle;
  • Dandy Gallery;
  • Heart of the Home;
  • Precious Moments;
  • The Jewellery Repair Workshop;
  • Harrison Rabbit Hair Studio;
  • Arcadia Coffee Shop;
  • Ffoto Newport;
  • Nuthouse Hair Salon;
  • The Pot Cafe.