Newport’s fifth City Summit is being held on January 18, 2018, at the Celtic Manor Resort and is once again expected to attract a full house.
Over the last decade or more, there has been significant change and redevelopment but the city’s renaissance and regeneration goes on at pace.

A city centre masterplan is being developed which will look at the next phases for the heart of Newport and more details will be revealed at the summit as part of the consultation.

Friars Walk has proved a successful and popular addition to the retail offering while the Welsh Government’s Vibrant and Viable Places programme has helped to transform some landmark locations into new and revived businesses, homes and spaces.

Cllr Debbie Wilcox, leader of Newport City Council, said: “It is recognised that there is still much that can be done but, against a backdrop of continuing austerity and with many private owners in control of key properties, the council is having to find even more innovative ways to bring buildings back into use.”

The masterplan will set out a vision for the short, medium and long-term future of the city centre and surrounding areas but will be asking partners and the public for their contribution to this important document.

Some exciting potential projects are in the pipeline but, as they are still in the early stages of development, they are not yet in the public domain.

However, in the meantime, work is already progressing on a scheme that will have a major impact in part of the city centre.

Pobl Group, in partnership with the council and Welsh Government through a transition regeneration project, is demolishing vacant and derelict shops around the Park Square car park in Commercial Street.
In their place will be 38 apartments for over-55s and a vastly improved gateway entrance to the car park.

Cllr Wilcox said: “We have worked closely with the Pobl Group on a number of excellent schemes already and this project will be a real uplift and boost for that part of the city centre.”

Excellent progress is being made on a plan to restore Market Arcade, which links High Street to the historic Newport Market. It is hoped the vision for the arcade will become a reality when the Heritage Lottery Fund confirm the second stage of the project.

Garrison Barclay Estates has revealed ambitious plans for a gateway building not far from the city centre. The former Royal Mail sorting office in Mill Street is one of the first buildings seen by people arriving in Newport on the main railway line from London. Garrison Barclay intends to develop the site into a mixed use scheme, incorporating high quality office space.

“Over the last 10 years, the importance and value of the visitor economy has grown and there was significant change between 2015 and 2016. We’ve had fantastic tourism figures over the last few years and last year was no exception, with attractions such as Friars Walk and the Transporter Bridge helping to draw in even more visitors,” said Cllr Wilcox.

“In 2016, 4.78 million people came to the city – an increase of more than 57 per cent compared to the previous year.

“Newport has a lot to offer and it is great that people are recognising that. As well as our fantastic heritage, including Tredegar House and the Transporter Bridge, we have an expanding events calendar – the food festival continues to draw thousands of people to the city centre every autumn and next year we can look forward to the first Newport Wales Marathon.

“We are delighted to be hosting the British Transplant Games in 2019 – the first time for a Welsh city in more than 20 years.”

One of the key players in attracting visitors is the host venue for the city summit. The Celtic Manor Resort and the International Convention Centre Wales, which opens in June 2019, are both major drivers for the city and the wider region.

Work is well under way on the striking slate and glass ICCW which will cater for more than 5,000 delegates.

Cllr Wilcox said: “I would like to thank the Celtic Manor for hosting the City Summit for the second time. The resort is an important contributor to the city’s economy by creating jobs and bringing in both leisure and business visitors. I look forward to the opening of the ICCW, another significant and much-needed facility for the region that will be right here in Newport.”

The City Deal, being administered by the Cardiff City Region, is also delivering benefits for Newport.

Last September it was announced that IQE was to establish a state-of-the-art wafer manufacturing plant in Coedkernew as part of a compound semiconductor foundry supported by the Cardiff City Region City Deal.

The facility, which is set to create up to 2,000 highly-skilled jobs with hundreds more in the supply chain, will form part of the Welsh Government’s commitment to create the world’s first semiconductor cluster which could attract £375m of private sector investment into the area.

Cllr Wilcox said: “As a council, we are very much positioning ourselves as a national digital hub, working with the University of South Wales to develop its Cyber Academy and supporting the expansion of Cardiff University’s National Software Academy in Newport.”

The success of the NSA meant it needed bigger premises and the council was able to make sure this prestigious institution stayed in Newport by sharing the Information Station.

It is strategically important to the city’s aspirations to develop as a technology hub as the academy attracts inward investment by producing world-class graduates. Over the last 12 months, more than 120 companies have engaged with the NSA.

Cllr Wilcox added: “We have always said that Newport is ideally placed for businesses looking to start up or relocate with excellent connectivity on road, rail and sea.

“It is this connectivity, alongside our can-do approach to supporting business growth, that has led to Spanish train manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) choosing the city as its new base.”

The site at Llanwern, selected from 100 sites across the UK, was confirmed as the location for its new £30m production factory, creating 300 highly-skilled jobs when the plant opens next autumn.

Cllr Wilcox said: “It really is a case of watch this space as I’m sure there will be more exciting announcements in the coming weeks and months. Newport is definitely the place where people want to be and the council is doing everything it can to maximise the opportunities to benefit all those who live and work in the city.” 

For more information on the summit, including the line-up of speakers and how to book, visit