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Work starts on £12-million Newport Market revamp but one trader ‘not happy’

WORK has started on a major redevelopment of Newport’s historic Market.

Fencing has gone up around the city centre market as builders arrived at the site on Monday.

The £12-million redevelopment, which was granted planning permission last month, will introduce a food court and bar to the ground floor, create a workspace hub and offices, alongside 42 affordable apartments and a refurbished market.

Developers Loft-Co hopes to complete the development within the next 12 months.

The scheme could create more than 200 new jobs and opportunities for 40 new businesses, but it has received a mixed reaction from traders, with several choosing to relocate due to proposed increases in rents and service charges.

And one trader was “not happy” on Monday after fencing was put up around her shop.

Johanna Davies, of Davies Florist, said her bin was blocked behind fencing, preventing her from being able to empty it.

“I have got my own shop bin and they have blocked it in,” Ms Davies said.

“How is it supposed to be emptied?

“I am not very happy about it.

“I do not think they are being very considerate and this is only the beginning.”

Ms Davies, who is looking to relocate after 78 years in Newport Market, said she is also concerned people will be unable to see her shop window behind fencing and scaffolding.

Earlier this month, A.D Turner and Son butchers left the market after 60 years to move to new premises in Risca.

Tim Rees, who owns and runs Friendly Neighbourhood Comics – formerly Negative Zone Comics – had planned to stay, but Mr Rees says they now will be focussing on online shopping.

“I hope it is a success but I am no longer part of it,” he said.

Other traders to have left include Dean Beddis, of Kriminal Records, and Jim Harty, of Jamaire Gifts.

Simon Baston, managing director of Loft-Co, said last month the scheme provides “a distinct regeneration opportunity” and could help ensure the market’s survival.

“We want to move to a future position ensuring longevity and most importantly sustainability, a low carbon footprint and the market’s survival for hundreds of years to come,” he told Newport council’s planning committee.

Mr Baston said the redevelopment could be completed in under one year.

The scheme includes 100 per cent affordable accommodation, a minimum of 30 units for existing traders, with space for new businesses, and a gym.

Loft-Co was contacted for comment.

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