t's always good to see a council putting its money where it's mouth is. Newport city council has launched a review of its property portfolio which could raise as much as £50m for the local authority.
The money will be poured into getting its regeneration projects off the ground.
Nobody needs this more than Newport. The city is looking very sorry for itself. Retailers such as Mark & Spencer are abandoning the city and if you want much more than a sandwich or a burger for lunch then you'll probably struggle.
Which is a shame because if you fight past the empty shop units and the gas works which are currently ripping up the city centre's roads, down by the river a lot of work has already been done. On the south side of The Kingsway and beyond, the public realm is looking much better - just look at the pictures above taken this week. The riverside theatre and the new university are in place and hopes are Queensberry will have builders on site at its £100m retail led Friars Walk by next summer.
Sheila Davies, corporate director at Newport City Council, is now charging ahead with her seemingly boundless energy to take on the rest of the city. Regeneration in the light of Modus' demise, has been rethought and rezoned (listen to Sheila explain more below) and in total £20m will be spent "getting rid of obstacles' so that private investors have no excuses to get involved with the city.
You can listen to an abridged audio interview with Sheila about the council's property portfolio review below: