Newport city centre

Newport city centre
Newport Market. Tower viewed from Upper Dock Street
Newport Arcade looking towards Cambrian Road

Newport city centre is traditionally regarded as the area of Newport bounded by the west bank of the River Usk, the George Street Bridge, the eastern flank of Stow Hill and the Great Western Main Line. Most of the city centre is contained within two conservation areas: the central area and the area around Lower Dock Street. Most of the city centre is located in the Stow Hill district.

The main shopping thoroughfare is Commercial Street, which forms part of the north-south axis of Commercial Street and Commercial Road, linking the heart of the city with Newport Docks. The streets were laid-out in 1807 by Sir Charles Morgan's Tredegar Wharf Company to connect the expanding docks with the main roads in the centre.

The area between Commercial Street and the river used to contain a mixture of railway lines and river wharves so the street pattern in this area was never fixed. On the removal of the railway lines and wharves in the 1960s the large John Frost Square and Kingsway Shopping Centre were built. This area is currently being redeveloped to provide the Friars Walk shopping mall.

Towards the northern end of Newport city centre is Westgate Square, named after the Westgate Hotel. Here, the five roads of Commercial Street, Stow Hill, Bridge Street, High Street and Skinner Street converge. This is generally regarded as the centre, although the actual centre as measured on road signs is further up Bridge Street outside the Queen's Hotel — adjacent to the central post office which is where most OS maps pin point the centre of a place to be.

From Bridge Street, the two roads of High Street and Cambrian Road run in parallel to the Newport railway station. Joining them is the covered Victorian Newport Arcade. At the western end of the arcade lies the Cambrian Centre which was due to be redeveloped into the City Spires centre. To the east of High Street is Newport Market, a Grade II-listed building.

Kingsway/Usk Way is a boulevard on the west bank of the River Usk linking Newport Castle to the western ends of City Bridge and Newport Transporter Bridge. The city centre is currently being expanded to include areas on the east bank. The area between Newport Bridge and George Street Bridge is included in the Newport Unlimited master plan as a new high-density combined commercial and residential area, joined to the west bank by the new Newport City footbridge. The plan shows a strong urban form along the riverfront, emphasised with tall landmark buildings [1].

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