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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:18 pm
by Cardiff
Didnt know where else to put this so started a new one, I went to Newports Friars Walk today on opening day. My impression was that it was pretty decent, nothing amazing or for Cardiff to be worried about. It definitely wasn't completely finished with some units still to open and a couple of large stores seemingly empty, with some areas such as the main steps unfinished and sand and mud everywhere which was quite poor on opening day. Some nice details like the illuminated balustrade around the balcony and lights in the cineworld facade. It was funny to note how the worst of Newports population were mixed with a few of the higher end people and they all looked at each other nervously. Was funny to see the rush for Debenhams, and the demographic of the people in there, after the initial rush settled it was interesting to see the people swilling cider from cans retreating to the main high street and vice versa. Will be interesting to see how much the new shopping center pushes the down and outs out of the city center. I can see it being a nice place to go for a meal and then the cinema, I don't know how successful the shopping will be as there isnt a lot there but what was there was decent quality (namely topshop, river island, next and H&M stores).

What was also interesting was seeing how the riverside was being developed, the bridge area felt quite run down already and VERY dirty, the river really didnt help with metal jutting out from the mud flats.

Re: Newport

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:01 pm
by jonnywill25
Cardiff wrote: I don't know how successful the shopping will be as there isnt a lot there but what was there was decent quality (namely topshop, river island, next and H&M stores).

Believe it or not, Queensberry have actually done an excellent job on the retail lettings! They've managed to secure a large range of high street brands... There's a much better selection of stores and restaurants in Friars Walk than there is in Swansea or Cwmbran. Although the majority of the units haven't opened today, the scheme is actually 95% let! The ground floor is currently fully let due to a flurry of last minute lettings. I think a number of brands wanted to test the water before signing on the dotted line.

Yesterday I managed to view the latest edition of their letting plans and was pleasantly surprised! I could only view the ground floor plans, but they were enough to make me feel confident about this shopping centre! (I haven't visited the centre yet so I'm not sure if all the upper floor units belong to the lower adjoining unit) but below is the complete tenant mix as of 11/11/15.

Next | Schuh | River Island | Topman | Topshop | Tiger | JD Sports | Occasions Cards | Hoffi Coffi | Clarks | Fat Face | Sketchers | H&M | EE | Jack & Jones | Holland & Barret | TK Maxx | New Look | Smiggle | Body Shop | Pandora | Ernest Jones | Vision Express | Carphone Warehouse | Greggs | Muffin Break | Krispy Kreme | Yankee Candle | Jefferies Jewellers | Coffee No. 1 | M&S Food Hall | Zizzi | Cotswolds Outdoors | Mothercare

I am surprised to see the absence of Zara! I thought they would have been interested in the scheme. Additionally SuperBowl UK will be opening their third bowling complex in Wales. Unsure of the location within Friars Walk, but they signed the dotted line this month.

Re: Newport

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:37 pm
by Rhodri
Newport where every day is like a November Sunday at 5pm in the rain.

With the looming City Region deal, Newport centre needs to up its game to complement Celtic Manor & Caerleon. Good luck Clarts!

Re: Newport

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:40 pm
by LocalLurker
It's good for Newport but not a threat to Cardiff as you'll see the usual Gwent hoards to the majority of their Xmas shopping in SD2. Still it's good to see Newport off the life support machine.

Re: Newport

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:02 pm
by Theport
Hello, Having worked in the Centre of Cardiff for 10 years i have followed this forum closely, but being from the Port, I felt this was a worthy topic for my first post.

After 10 years of neglect from NCC and the Assembly that seems to forget that there is a a city to the East of Cardiff, Newport has become a sorry state, my god, even Cwmbran became the preferred shopping destination for many.

However Friars walk is only the start to Newport's resurrections. With the Station Quarter being developed and with many privately owned restaurants and bars opening up around the Market including the impending arrival of the Urban Tap House, our night live can only get better. We are due to have a Gin Bar :)

Re: Newport

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:09 pm
by LocalLurker
Welcome to the board.

We are all part of the Cardiff Capital Region so it can't hurt having a more prosperous Newport and more jobs. Newport doesn't need to compete with Cardiff to thrive, it needs to work with it. Ultimately as condescending as my post sounded towards the 3rd city, a stronger Newport can only be good for Wales. It's a shame that Terry Matthews isn't chair of our city region.

Re: Newport

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:30 pm
by Karl
I'm probably one of the few people outside Newport (or so it seems) who thinks the city is actually quite attractive. Commercial Street and the surrounding area has a wealth of decent Victorian/Edwardian architecture, the Stow Hill area is attractive, St Woolo's is lovely, the civic centre is very striking, the bridges including the transporter bridge are many times more attractive than anything over the Taff in Cardiff and the riverside area is being redevelped quite nicely. There are some horrible incongruous buildings and quite a lot of gaps in the streetscape but that unfortunately is the norm for British cities.

On top of that there are some nice parks, Caerleon is ace, the coast road between Newport and Cardiff is a lovely place for a few pints on a summers evening (make sure you get a designated driver), Tredegar Park and now a new shopping centre. Friars Walk won't win any awards but the type of retailers it has attracted will stop Newport shoppers going to Cwmbran etc and the restaurants/cinema/bowling alley will attract people back to the city centre who perhaps have not had a night out in Newport for years.

Its easy for people to dismiss Newport as rough or a bit of a shithole but I think thats based on a misconception in a similar way that Glasgow was always dismissed as a violent dump back in the 70/80's.

I think one of the reasons for that misconception is that if you are driving through Newport you really don't get much of a feel for the city as you are on a really convoluted dual carriageway. It's really dismal and a casual visitor could be forgiven for thinking there was nothing in Newport worth seeing. Also the muddy river doesn't help - wasn't a small barrage proposed once upon a time with a marina at the mouth of the Usk?

Re: Newport

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:42 pm
by Theport
The Barrage was first mentioned in the 90's along with the sevenside airport and possible theme park. obviously none of them happened. The first damage was done in the 60's when building like the lycum theatre was demolished (worth looking up) and replaced with what is now the travel lodge. But you are correct, if you look above street level Newport has some fantastic building, pefect example is the development of the kings hotel.

All Newport needs the a bit of TLC and the restored faith of its people. Especially the people who moan on the SWA website :)

Re: Newport

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:04 pm
by Jantra
my grampy was from zooport, he had a proper gwent accent. one has to ask where does the cardiff accent end and the newcastle upon usk accent begin?

Re: Newport

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:14 pm
by Ash
Theport wrote: All Newport needs the a bit of TLC and the restored faith of its people. Especial the people who moan on the SWA website :)

There are people like that everywhere! Newport has a lot going for it but people judge a city by its centre which has suffered from commercial decline and poor development. There's lot of good stuff left though, including something Cardiff lacks - some fine Georgian buildings.

Friars Walk is a start but its going to take many years for the place to reach its potential.