The opening of Friars Walk this week was an unforgettable day for Newport, and there was a huge buzz of excitement and positivity around the city. The opening day proved to be a great success, and it was brilliant to see so many people present on a momentous occasion for our reborn city centre.
The new multi-million pound retail and leisure development is a modern blend of new and returning favourites, and will be a magnet for shoppers. It was great to get a chance to meet staff at the newly-opened retail outlets. The Mayoress of Newport and I had a chat with the team at the new Mothercare outlet (picture above) who were anticipating a busy few weeks in the run-up to Christmas!
Friars Walk looks set to be a catalyst for a newly revitalised and refreshed city centre, and I really want to see the redevelopment benefit the many independent local businesses who have been loyal to Newport in difficult times.
Huge credit must to go to Cllr Bob Bright and Labour-led Newport City Council for delivering Friars Walk. Their vision and determination to drive the project forward was courageous at a difficult time for retail developments across the UK. Friars Walk is a success story for Newport, and is the result of an effective collaboration between Newport City Council, Queensberry Developers, and the Welsh Labour Government who secured a £1.5 million funding boost for the project. Our thanks must also go to the tremendous workforce whose efforts ensured the new development opened on schedule.
The future is bright for Newport.