NEWPORT'S new multi-million pound railway station could have a distinctly futuristic feel - and the plan remains that it will be completed ahead of the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort.

This first artist's impression of what the space-age structure could look like, has been issued as the Assembly's deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones emphasised the intention of having the station refurbishment completed in time for the bi-annual golfing spectacular, which takes place in early October 2010.

The structure is expected to be made out of a special type of plastic, used to build the Eden Project, to create the impression of light and space.

Given the slowdown in the economy and the fact that there are less than two years to go to the Ryder Cup's first contest in Wales, Newport West AM Rosemary Butler asked for assurances that the project could be completed in time.

"I was very pleased to have announced in June a joint funding agreement with Network Rail to invest £22m to revamp Newport train station," said Mr Jones in a letter to Mrs Butler.

"This investment will see a completely refurbished Newport train station prior to the Ryder Cup."

"The Deputy First Minister assures me that the new station will be ready for the Ryder Cup in 2010, and that the facilities which many of us have been asking for - such as disability access - will be provided," said Mrs Butler.

The new complex, west of the existing station nearer Bridge Street will include two terminals, new terminal buildings and a public footbridge, a new passenger footbridge, a new taxi area and short stay car park, and a 250-space passenger car park.

Network Rail confirmed the station would be open in time for the Ryder Cup, but the final details are still being thrashed out.

It is not yet known whether the new structure will incorporate the existing Victorian buildings at the station, but final details are expected to be released by the end of the year.

Building work is due to start early next year and Network Rail say they will be in talks will train operators to minimise disruption at the station.

Revamp must be 'first class'

John Burrows, chief executive of regeneration company Newport Unlimited, said it is important that a first class refurbishment of the whole station be completed, including the existing Victorian buildings, as well as a new concourse.

Councillor Matthew Evans, leader of Newport City Council added: "Clearly we want key developments such as the proposals for the railway station to be completed in time for the Ryder Cup. It is pleasing to hear that the deputy first minister still believes this will be the case. The important thing for us is that developments such as this take place for the long term benefit of the people in Newport."