Friars Walk, Newport

Dragon-150Friars Walk was to be a £222 m shopping centre in Newport city centre.

However, the plan was scrapped on June 10th 2009 by Newport City Council following the developers, Modus Corovest (Newport) Ltd, inability to commit to the project. It is understood that Modus Corovest were unable to secure the necessary funding. Several other Modus companies had recently gone into administration. It is undertsood the council will re-tender the project.

It covers an area bounded by Kingsway, Upper Dock Street and the existing Kingsway Shopping Centre. The plan includes parts of John Frost Square and the bus station. A key feature of the development will be to bring together Newport’s riverfront and commercial centre, allowing people to walk easily between the two areas. This also extends to the east bank of the river by means of the Newport City footbridge.

The entire complex should be completed in late 2009 — in time for the thousands of visitors expected to visit the city for the 2010 Ryder Cup. However, work has been delayed following funding problems attributable to the credit crunch.

Details

  • A mixed-use development of 475,000 sq ft (44,100 m2)[3] including retail, leisure, residential, public spaces, cafés and restaurants
  • A total of 388,000 sq ft (36,000 m2) of retail including a 105,520 sq ft (9,803 m2) Debenhams and 86,648 sq ft (8,050 m2) Marks & Spencer department stores. Stores will also include JJB, Boots, New Look and River Island
  • Six restaurants over 12,500 sq ft (1,160 m2), including Pizza Express and Nando’s outlets
  • 47,000 sq ft (4,400 m2) multi-screen cinema
  • 281 city-centre residential units, including a 20-storey tower
  • A four-star 118-bedroom hotel
  • Improved car parking facilities for up to a total of 1,400 cars in conjunction with the Kingsway Centre
  • A reconfigured airport-style bus station

How it will look
The main element of the scheme is a three-tiered mall made up of High Street retailers and independents. The jewel in the crown will be a 105,520 sq ft (9,803 m2) Debenhams department store. The shopping centre or ‘Galleria’ will be curved in design and covered by a glass canopy at the highest level. The top floor of the Galleria will feature cafés, bars and restaurants, including a roof terrace.

The frontage to Kingsway Boulevard and River Usk will be landscaped with a new public space, Usk Plaza, formed at the waterfront. The riverfront will be a place where people come to eat, drink and watch the world go by.

Pedestrian links across the site are achieved via Llanarth Street and Austin Friars — both of which are extended eastwards and developed to connect with the riverfront.

The bus station will be a totally new facility fully-integrated with the Galleria. John Frost Square will also be remodelled and connected to the riverfront. It will remain an important public space for public events and civic activities. Water forms a key part of the scheme with numerous water features spread about the city centre linking together the various areas and reinforcing the importance of the River Usk.