Newport is in a better place than a lot of UK cities when it comes to trying to reinvent itself and come up with a brand, Newport City Summit was told yesterday.

Philip Blond, of policy think tank Respublica, which has been helping Newport City Council develop the idea of the City of Democracy, told the meeting of leading business people: "We do a lot of work with cities which often didn't take the right measures 40 or 50 years ago to adapt. When we came to Newport we didn't see that. Newport has had a lot of shocks over the years but it has actually done a lot of the right things to adapt and it is well positioned to do well in the 21st century."

Mr Blond was talking about the Newport of Tomorrow at the event, which was also attended by Cllr Debbie Wilcox, leader of Newport City Council, and Will Godfrey, the council's chief executive.

Mr Blond said it was important for the city to develop its brand and pointed to how other cities across the world, including Seattle in the USA, had reinvented themselves.

He said: Newport isn't a city which needs an awful lot of turning around."

He spoke about the city's unique geographic position and said that in many areas it was above the Welsh average, including being placed third in a survey of the best office locations outside of London.

He said that embracing democracy as a brand should involve everyone in the city, no matter where they lived or what they did.

He said that there would be a Festival of Democracy in Newport in 2017 to explore the notion of democracy and how the whole city could become involved.

"If you can't come up with a new way of doing things the world will just look to people like Donald Trump. People like him have no ideas which can help people. If we can do it here, we can make a difference to everyone using the council, people who give a damn and the university, for example. This is a hell of a prize," said Mr Blond.