NEWPORT councillors yesterday backed an idea to create a museum to house Newport’s famous medieval ship.

Cabinet members agreed that the 15th century trading vessel was internationally important and should be used to promote Newport to visitors, at a meeting yesterday.

The Newport ship was discovered on the backs of the River Usk in 2002 and is the only substantial remains of a ship of its type and age found so far.

The ships timbers are currently being preserved in a unit on the Maesglas Industrial Estate.

Reassembling is not expected to begin for a few years but because of its size it will have to be done in its final home.

But Cllr Mike Hamilton, cabinet member for leisure, said time was running out and conservation work would soon be complete leaving no option but to put the ship into storage if a new home wasn’t found.

The council must now find external funding for the project and an assessment of available city centre sites, preferably close to where it was originally found, in the city centre will be carried out.

A dedicated museum for the ship would enable the internationally important find to be showcased, said the council’s museum and heritage officer Mike Lewis, in a report to councillors.

He said the ship could be housed along with other Maritime and estuarine archaeological finds such as the Barland’s Farm Boat and Magor Pill Boat.

Cllr leader Matthew Evans said: “It is a global find and it deserves global funding and hopefully this will go towards putting it back on the map.”