PLANS to relocate council services from Newport’s Information Station to the city’s central library and museum have been given planning permission.
The proposal would see council services moved from the building at the old Newport railway station site in Queensway, to the five-storey library and museum in John Frost Square.
Services currently provided at the Information Station include information about housing and council tax benefits, business rates, social services, child protection, access to supported employment, business rates and blue badges.
Under the plans, the library, museum and art gallery will operate from the east half of the building, with Information Station services from the west side.
The ground floor would remain as the main entrance, with an information centre reception added.
No changes are proposed to the first floor, which would remain as the main library and museum.
The customer information centre would be located on the second floor, where the upper museum and gallery would also be kept.
The third floor will be used as offices by converting areas currently occupied by classrooms.
Offices related to the Information Station will be added to the fourth floor, with an archive also relocated here from the mezzanine area.
No changes to the outside of the building are proposed, which is described as currently “underutilised”, but it will be refurbished.
Newport City Council has been awarded £1.4-million from the Welsh Government for the redevelopment, while the council has also allocated £350,000 for the project.
A planning report which recommended approval said the presence of the central library will be “maintained and arguably enhanced as more visitors will be attracted to the building”.
“It is also considered that the proposed use is a complimentary city centre use which will encourage a large footfall which would help and may improve the vitality of the city centre,” the report adds.
A separate application to convert the lower floors of the Information Station into a new co-working hub has already been granted planning permission.
The city council is planning to sublease the building to Tramshed Tech to expand technology and digital services in the city.
The relocation of the Information Station also forms part of Newport City Council’s budget proposals which are currently out for public consultation.