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Plans for Newport city centre campus take a step forward

Newport city centre campus

Newport City Council and Coleg Gwent’s exciting proposal to create a city centre campus providing first-class further education facilities is taking another step forward.

Pre-planning consultation has been launched ahead of an outline application being jointly submitted by both organisations.

It is intended that the city centre campus will be built on the site of the existing Newport Centre and a new state-of-the-art leisure centre will be built on a nearby brownfield site by the riverfront to replace the ageing Newport Centre.

When it is completed, Coleg Gwent’s city centre campus will form part of the Newport Knowledge Quarter (NKQ) joining the University of South Wales campus.

The council is also submitting a bid to the UK government’s levelling-up fund to support a National Technology Institute in a city centre location.

Councillor Jane Mudd, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “We have been working closely with Coleg Gwent and Welsh Government on our plans to bring further education provision into the heart of the city centre.

“The Newport Knowledge Quarter will offer excellent learning environments for further and higher education helping to inspire generations of young people. Our aspiration to add a national technology institute – delivering high quality, higher level technical education and training – will be another valuable and much-needed asset for the city.

“These developments are part of our masterplan for the city centre – regeneration projects that will deliver employment, learning and training opportunities, create a more diverse mix of uses and make it an attractive place to live in, work in and visit.”

Guy Lacey, principal and chief executive of Coleg Gwent, said: “Coleg Gwent is extremely excited about the opportunity to build a brand-new campus in the city centre.  It will create a truly first-class learning environment for all the people of Newport, in a location that is easy to access from all areas of the city.

“The location in the heart of the city will also see the campus make a really positive contribution to the regeneration of the city centre and will see the college providing education and training alongside the university and proposed new technology institute.

“Our plans are subject to funding from the Welsh Government, and we are working closely with officials to progress our business case through the required stages, and we look forward to making good progress on the project during the coming months”

Following a successful application, work will continue to develop a full application for submission at a later date. After all necessary approvals are in place, the timescales for construction work will be confirmed.

Meanwhile, work is progressing on the complex project of designing and building a modern and energy efficient leisure centre

As part of its climate change commitment, the council wants to make the building as “green” as possible.

Information on potential energy schemes is being gathered and these include a potential innovative option. The final options are expected to go before the cabinet in the coming months.

While work has been going on behind the scenes to develop this mutli-million pound project, the existing Newport Centre has provided a valuable resource as a mass vaccination centre and residents are still able to use some of its leisure facilities.

The pool hall will remain closed as it needs significant and unviable repairs.