Newport city centre

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Newport Market Tower (1854) viewed from Upper Dock Street
Newport Arcade looking towards Cambrian Road
Junction of Commercial Street, Stow Hill and High Street in front of the Westgate Hotel

Newport city centre is traditionally regarded as the area of Newport, Wales bounded by the west bank of the River Usk, the George Street Bridge, the eastern flank of Stow Hill and the South Wales Main Line. Most of the city centre is contained within two conservation areas: the central area and the area around Lower Dock Street. Most of the city centre is located in the Stow Hill district.


The main shopping thoroughfare is Commercial Street, which forms part of the north-south axis of Commercial Street and Commercial Road, linking the heart of the city with Newport Docks. The streets were laid-out in 1807 by Sir Charles Morgan's Tredegar Wharf Company to connect the expanding docks with the main roads in the centre.

The area between Commercial Street and the river used to contain a mixture of railway lines and river wharves so the street pattern in this area was never fixed. On the removal of the railway lines and wharves in the 1960s the large John Frost Square (1977) and Kingsway Shopping Centre were built, close to Newport bus station. This area is being redeveloped to provide the Friars Walk shopping mall.

Towards the northern end of Newport city centre is Westgate Square, named after the Westgate Hotel. Here, the five roads of Commercial Street, Stow Hill, Bridge Street, High Street and Skinner Street converge. This is generally regarded as the centre, although the actual centre as measured on road signs is further up Bridge Street outside the Queen's Hotel — adjacent to the central post office which is where most OS maps pin point the centre of a place to be.

From Bridge Street, the two roads of High Street and Cambrian Road run in parallel towards Newport railway station. Joining the two roads is the covered Victorian Newport Arcade. At the western end of the arcade is the Cambrian Centre which is being redeveloped.[1] To the east of High Street is Newport Market, a Grade II-listed building.

Kingsway/Usk Way is a boulevard on the west bank of the River Usk linking Newport Castle to the western ends of City Bridge and Newport Transporter Bridge. The city centre is currently being expanded to include areas on the east bank. The area between Newport Bridge and George Street Bridge is included in the Newport Unlimited master plan as a new high-density combined commercial and residential area, joined to the west bank by Newport City footbridge. The plan shows a strong urban form along the riverfront, emphasised with tall landmark buildings.[2]

The city's major sports stadium, at Rodney Parade on the east bank of the River Usk, is a short walk from the city centre via Newport Bridge or Newport City footbridge.


Much of Newport's city centre shops have been concentrated along High Street, Commercial Street and John Frost Square, though the city centre has suffered from competition from Cwmbran and various out-of-town shopping areas. Protracted redevelopment has also been cited as a reason for big high street stores, such as Marks and Spencer, leaving the city centre during the 2010s.[3]

Cambrian Centre[edit]

The Cambrian Centre is a small shopping centre in Newport city centre. Among other units, it houses a Somerfield and one of the city's Wetherspoon's public houses, the John Wallace Linton and a NCP car park.

A planning application by Holder Mathias Architects was approved in 2007 by Newport City Council for an £87 million redevelopment and refurbishment to be known as City Spires[4][5] but it was mothballed in 2008 before construction started. An alternative redevelopment plan was due to start in 2012.[6][7][8][9]

Friars Walk[edit]

Friars Walk is a projected shopping centre in Newport city centre. Construction began in April 2014 and the scheme is due to open Autumn 2015.

Plans were initially scrapped in 2009 because of the credit crunch[10] but revived in a downsized £100 million scheme by Queensberry Real Estate in 2012. Plans included a six-screen cinema, eight restaurants and a 360 space carpark.[11] A new bus station was also included, with finance coming from a £90 million load from Newport Council.[12]


Kingsway Shopping Centre (leading off John Frost Square) was completed in 2009 at a cost of £25 million.[10]


  1. ^ "Cambrian Centre redevelopment". 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2014-08-10. 
  2. ^[dead link]
  3. ^ Morris, Steven (20 May 2013). "Newport fails to curb retail exodus as big names pack up shop". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "City Spires given the go-ahead". Building Design: 2. 31 August 2007. 
  5. ^ "Wales' newest city rides on the crest of a wave". Western Mail. 3 January 2007. p. 22. 
  6. ^ Hamilton, Helen (12 November 2011). "...the party's over". Estates Gazette: 80–81. 
  7. ^ "Cambrian Centre redevelopment". 18 April 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  8. ^ Crockett, Natalie (30 January 2012). "New plans for Newport’s Cambrian Centre". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  9. ^ Barry, Sion (31 January 2013). "Admiral signs up for Cambrian Centre office space". Western Mail. p. 25. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "City's £200m shops plan scrapped". BBC Wales News. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Newport's Friars Walk shopping plan approved". BBC Wales News. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  12. ^ Ruth Mansfield (1 October 2014). "Newport Friars Walk is taking shape". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 

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