Two options for Newport’s new leisure centre will be for you to decide

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Plans for a new leisure centre and college campus will signal that Newport is still “a city on the rise” – despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic – the leader of the council has said.

Residents in Newport will be asked for their views on proposals to knock down the Newport Centre and replace it with a college campus, while also building a new leisure centre on a nearby site in the city centre.

The council’s cabinet agreed to open a public consultation on the proposals, which will run until January 29, at a meeting on Wednesday.



The new designs

Two options will be put forward for the proposed leisure centre on Usk Way, next to the existing University of South Wales building, which would replace facilities at the 36-year-old Newport Centre.

One includes a larger swimming pool, with health and wellbeing facilities, but smaller sports facilities, while a second includes a smaller pool with health and wellbeing facilities, but also including a multi-functional hall.

The plans would also see the relocation of Coleg Gwent’s Nash Road campus to the current site of the Newport Centre.

Council leader Cllr Jane Mudd urged residents to have their say on what facilities they would like included in the new leisure centre.

The proposed leisure centre will offer facilities “fit for purpose for the 21st century for a city in the 21st century”, Cllr Mudd said.



The leisure centre layout

And she said the college campus would also bring “significant benefits” to the city centre, increasing footfall and helping businesses, which would be crucial in helping the economic recovery from coronavirus.

“[It] will really help to signal to everybody that… in spite of the global challenges we have faced, we continue to be a city on the rise,” she added.

Cllr Ray Truman said the proposals would provide “a massive boost for the city and the whole of Newport”, particularly as its population is expected to increase by the highest in Wales over the coming years.

Cllr David Mayer said he would be ‘sad’ to see the Newport Centre demolished, but added it is no longer fit for purpose.

He added: “I’m so excited to have the prospect of this amazing new leisure facility on the riverfront like something out of a European dream.”

Cabinet member for assets Cllr Abdul-Majid Rahman said coronavirus had “taken a toll on the city centre”, and that he hoped the development would see the city centre “thriving again”.

Chief executive Beverly Owen said the facility would be “fit for a Newport of the future”.

She said the investment would “inspire and give confidence to the people of Newport and city centre businesses”.

The total cost of the leisure project is estimated at £19.7 million, including an application to Welsh Government for £7 million.



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