An innovative proposal to bring coworking incubator space to the city centre is being explored by Newport City Council, subject to funding.
The council is seeking a commercial operator to become a council tenant for a potential scheme in the former railway station building.
At its most recent meeting, cabinet gave the proposal in-principal approval.
About 9,000 sq ft on the ground floor and first floor, presently used by council services, could be made available for start-up businesses in the digital, tech and creative sectors.
Other floors are home to Cardiff University’s prestigious National Software Academy and that will be unaffected by this proposal.
The council is looking for someone with a track record of running similar facilities that is able to offer tailored support services to members.
If a tenant is found, it is intended that council staff will move from the Queensway building to another council-owned building in the heart of the city centre, Newport Library and Art Gallery.
Councillor Jane Mudd, leader of Newport City Council, said:
“We believe this proposal could be a real plus for the city, and the council, in a number of ways. It will bring a new facility to Newport; give a helping hand to start-up businesses and make better use of one of our own buildings while reducing the costs at the Information Station.
“We believe there is considerable interest in this type of facility coming to Newport.
“It will provide flexible space and support to budding innovators and entrepreneurs, fits in with our aim of making Newport a digital hub and is another partnership with the private sector to benefit the city and its economy.
“The concept of the Information Station has been extremely successful and we want that to continue in the city centre. Moving services to John Frost Square will make them even more accessible to residents as it is close to car parks and the bus station and make better use of the library and museum building.”