Businesses from across South Wales and the Southwest of England are snapping up retail and lifestyle units at the UK’s biggest indoor market refurbishment.
Almost 75% of units at Newport Market have now been let ahead of its reopening in February.
With scaffolding now taken down on the exterior of the Victorian building, the cleaned and refurbished façade of the market has been unveiled.
And now businesses are ready to fill the inside of the Newport Market with its reopening now just over four months away.
The multi-million-pound refurbishment led by developers Loft Co will see the new-look market housing 45 retail units on the ground floor of the landmark Victorian building and 15 lifestyle units on the mezzanine first floor.
The 10 restaurants forming the ground-floor food hall have already been let. On offer will be some of the best street food offerings in Wales, including Greek, Indian, pizza, and desserts.
Meanwhile, businesses signed up for retail units are looking forward to opening in the new year.
Donna Poole launched her Newport-based pet supplies business Pure Pets online in July.
Originally from Bristol, Donna moved to Newport three years ago and decided to start Pure Pets after a career spent working in the independent free advice sector, helping people with debt issues.
The online store will continue alongside her new unit at Newport Market.
“I read about what was happening to the market in a local magazine, and when I had the chance to look around inside, to see the work that had already been done, and the overall plans for the refurbishment I was so excited. It’s a real opportunity for small businesses and I think it’ll be fantastic,” said Donna.
“My unit in the market will concentrate on natural products for pets. It’ll be different to what I do online, and we’ll be selling pet supplies and personal gifts for pets, with everything as natural and healthy as possible.
“I’m a people person so I never wanted my business to be online-only. I’m passionate about animals and the environment, and that is what we will be all about in the market. I also want to work with and promote other small local businesses.”
Donna has benefited from support and advice from the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service as she launched Pure Pets, and has signed up to the Green Growth Pledge to work with responsible suppliers, improve the wellbeing of staff and the local community, use appropriate packaging, and promote sustainable best practices.
Kate and Will Ashwell will be expanding their vintage fashion and bridalwear business when they open in the market.
The couple have been running their Bristol-based business Heartfelt Vintage since 2014, and have just rebranded as Ashwell & Co ahead of their expansion into Newport.
Their Clifton shop combines a popular tearoom run by baker Will, and the vintage fashion and bridalwear side of the business with Kate in charge.
Ashwell & Co is a sustainable business that only sources its vintage clothing from within the UK. Over the last seven years, they have built a reputation for selling high-quality, hand-picked vintage fashion and have curated one of the largest collections of vintage wedding dresses in the country.
The business was born out of Kate's love of vintage fashion and her own experience of searching for a vintage dress for her wedding:
“I was looking for something different for our wedding and I couldn’t find anything that was a bit different or didn’t involve the risk of buying online, so there was an obvious gap in the market.”
Opening a second shop in Newport Market “makes a lot of sense”, according to Kate.
“We get customers travelling to our Clifton shop from Cardiff, the Valleys and Newport already so we have a Welsh customer base,” she said.
“We wanted our next shop to be somewhere in the centre of things and that is what we will have at the market.
“It’s a beautiful building and we will be surrounded by lots of other small independent businesses all starting together in a fantastic space, and we think that will create a real sense of community.
“It is a great opportunity. Independents will regenerate Britain’s high streets and we want to be part of that process in Newport.
Paul and Julie Miller set up the Cardiff Distillery in 2019 and have built a reputation for making some of the best gins in Wales.
The couple will be launching the Newport Distillery at the market, with a double storefront selling bottles of their distilled products, as well as offering gin schools and tasting sessions. A copper sill will sit in their store.
“Our prime reason for branching out and setting up in the market is the work Loft Co has done in the past. We particularly love Goodsheds at Barry, and the way that Simon Baston and his team prioritise working with independents like us.
“I’m from Swansea and I hadn’t been to Newport for about 20 years before I came to look at what is happening at the market.
“I hadn’t realised what a lovely city it is. The architecture in the city centre is fantastic, and what is planned for the marked and the wider area is really exciting. I can’t wait to see the market when it is finished.
“I know some of the other businesses that will be joining us in the market and I’m looking forward to meeting the others. There are some great opportunities for collaborations between us.”
Newport Distillery is already establishing itself in the city, sponsoring Newport County AFC and producing two new gins – one for the football club and one for the city as a whole called Gin Casnewydd.
Loft Co managing director Simon Baston said:
“We have been absolutely delighted with the overwhelming positivity shown from the Newport community and local government towards the largest market redevelopment of its kind in the UK.
“We’ll be opening the market with all its food and retail attractions, offices and events space, at the beginning of February.
“Anyone who wants to join us and become part of the market should visit our website and register their interest.”
Individually designed and available in a variety of sizes, Newport Market’s retail and lifestyle units provide the perfect link with the building’s history as an indoor shopping destination.
Based in the centre of Newport with easy access to rail and bus transport hubs, the new-look market building will be open seven days a week and play host to events catering for between 50 and 250 people, including conferences and weddings.
Loft Co expect an annual footfall in excess of 1.5 million – making the ultra-low carbon footprint market one of the most-visited historic buildings in Newport and the surrounding area.
As well as the retail and lifestyle units, there will be 70 office spaces, along with a gym and rooftop garden.
Reservations for the remaining retail and lifestyle units are available now. To reserve your space, or receive more information about the development in general, please contact [email protected] or browse the brochures available on the Newport Market website – www.newport-market.co.uk