July 23, 2021

Newyddion Cymru Ar-Lein : Wales News Online

Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

A £20 million bid will be submitted to the UK Government to improve the area surrounding Newport’s railway station.

Newport council’s cabinet has given the go-ahead to submit a bid for funding to regenerate the area around the entrance to Newport’s railway station.

Under the plans, Queensway, Cambrian, Road, Bridge Street and parts of Upper Dock Street would all benefit from improvements to make the area more “green”.

The UK Government has set aside £4.8 billion for its Levelling Up Fund (LUF), up to 2024/25, which will be available for all areas of the UK to “invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life”.

Newport City Council has identified what it is calling the ‘Northern Gateway’ area, which currently “feels divorced from the city’s leisure and retail offer”.

A report on the proposal says: “The gateway area into the city centre from the train station should be fit for purpose and reflective of the quality of place we are trying to achieve for our visitors and residents.”

The council can submit a bid of up to £20 million for the project, but if it was given Government backing, 10 per cent would have to be fronted up by alternative means – either from council funds or a third party.

The UK Government is set to prioritise the areas which have the most “significant” need based on economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity and the need for regeneration.

The city council says Newport has been placed in the highest priority category.

Although the costs of the proposals are still being finalised, the council expects the bid will request the full £20 million.

As part of the bid the council intends to use “existing and pipeline schemes in the Northern Gateway area as the match funding as these are directly linked to the public realm improvements for the area”.

The council also has £4 million of unallocated funds, which allows some headroom and could be used if needed.

If the council is unsuccessful on the first attempt, they could resubmit bids in future rounds.

The report says: “The city centre master plan adopted in 2019 kick started a significant period of regeneration and an aspiration to deliver a number of strategic regeneration projects across the city centre.

“This included the development of new hotels and office space aimed at bringing economic resilience, creating opportunities and raising the profile of the city to those wishing to visit or invest.”

The deadline for submissions for the first round of funding was June 18, and the council could find out as early as autumn this year on whether they have been successful with the bid.

If the funding is granted, then it must be spent by the end of March 2025.

Newport can submit proposals for other schemes in other bidding rounds, but if the council is successful with the Northern Gateway bid then no other bids for sites could be submitted in the same constituency area – Newport West.

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