Newport City Council has received an award for its work to ensure Newport Market remains at the heart of the city centre.

The project has topped the entries in the creating economic growth category at the Ystadau Cymru Awards 2022.

Ystadau Cymru (formerly known as the national assets working group) encourages excellence in active management of the Welsh public sector estate through strategic collaboration and good practice guidance.

The creating economic growth category seeks to recognise projects that, through collaboration, have created economic growth using the public estate.

Councillor Jane Mudd, Leader of the council, said: “It is more important than ever to have a mix of facilities on the high street and it was very clear to us that the market had to play a key role in achieving that in Newport.

“Likewise, applying a creative approach to the redevelopment and effective use of our assets is a priority for Newport City Council, whether it be working with specialist developers or transferring assets to the community.

“Newport Market now offers a contemporary and attractive destination which offers hospitality, retail, business, leisure and event opportunities. Plus, the future of a landmark building has been secured.

“The impact that the regeneration of the building itself has already had is clear – jobs created, local companies securing contracts and future careers supported. The benefits continue now with the market operational and building its reputation as an economic, social and cultural hub.

“My thanks go to everyone that has worked with us to bring this amazing project to fruition.”

The market, a Grade II listed building, has been under the ownership of the council since 1885 and for many years thrived as a traditional provisions market.

Despite investment and refurbishment projects earlier this century, and work to expand the offering of the market, it failed to trade to its full economic potential in the modern market.

It was acknowledged that the long-term solution for the future of the market was for the council to partner with private sector expertise in the area of refurbishing and managing historical buildings. In July 2018 the council agreed a 250-year redevelopment lease for the Market with LoftCo, the developer behind the transformation of Cardiff’s Tramshed and Barry’s Pumphouse.

Following a £6.5 million redevelopment project, the revitalised market reopened in March 2022 and now offers a food court, refurbished market stalls, contemporary workspaces and event space. It is believed to be the largest such indoor market redevelopment carried out in Europe.

Some of the economic growth and outputs achieved by the project include:

  • 155 jobs created
  • 207 jobs accommodated
  • 185 construction jobs
  • 5 traineeships
  • 311 enterprises accommodated
  • 4,500 sqm refurbished
  • 141 non-residential premises refurbished
  • 15 SMEs based in Wales securing contracts
  • £4.6 million in contracts awarded to SMEs based in Wales

The Minister for finance and local government, Rebecca Evans MS presented the award at the Ystadau Cymru Conference on Thursday 1 December 2022.

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