Market Arcade

Market Arcade logo fc

Current status

Work at the Arcade has progressed well in 2021, and the restoration works are now scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.

Restoration work to the shopfronts has almost finished, and utilities work to the Arcade is also continuing.

While work has been ongoing, the project has marked two special events over the summer.

Pupils from St Woolos Primary school delivered a time capsule to the project team which was later buried under the arcade new flooring.

The project team have been working with the school on a range of activities, the result of which was the production and burial of the capsule.

Items buried within the capsule included an old passport, smartphone, watch and postage stamps, a list of why each item was included, and a letter the pupils wrote to the future.

The project also took part in Cadw’s Open Doors event in September, which saw a limited series of tours of the site made available to the public.

Relatives of former arcade workers and shop owners were among those on the tours and recalled fond memories of their time in the arcade.

The tours proved to be very popular, and the project team are looking at running more once the restoration work has finished.

Units available

There are still units available at the Arcade, and the council is working with prospective businesses interested in leasing units.

If you are interested in moving your existing business to the Arcade, or setting up a new one, then please get in touch via market.arcade@newport.gov.uk.

Project background 

In 2018, Newport City Council secured funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund, Townscape Heritage, to restore and regenerate the city's Market Arcade.

The Victorian grade II listed structure is Newport’s oldest surviving arcade, the second oldest in Wales and the13th oldest in the UK. 

Locked in a spiral of decay and decline, the future of one of Newport's key heritage assets was under threat. 

The restoration project aims to reconnect owners, traders and the people of Newport with the historic significance of the arcade and its role in the growth of of the city.  

The arcade will be redefined as a vibrant and viable commercial attraction within the city’s conservation area. 

Market Arcade artists impression

Artist's impression of the restored Market Arcade. 

History   

Originally known as Fennell's Arcade, the arcade was built off High Street in 1869, linking the newly built railway station (1850), Post Office (1844) and Provisions Market (1862). 

The arcade was well-used for over a century, affectionately remembered as an ‘arcade of flowers’, until shopping habits changed and Newport's retail centre shifted.

A Memories of Market Arcade event took place 29 June - 1 July 2017 and people were invited to share their memories, photographs and memorabilia relating to Market Arcade. 

Market Arcade memories event June 2017

Memories of Market Arcade event, 2017

If you have stories or photographs you are willing to share please email market.arcade@newport.gov.uk with a heading of 'Market Arcade' - your memories will add to the rich history of Market Arcade and may give a glimpse of architectural detail that has long since been lost. 

Community involvement 

Events with local people during the development stage of the project showed that there are significant stories to be told, not just about Market Arcade itself, but also about the key role that this part of the city has played throughout the history of Newport.  

Rather than simply a shopping arcade or shortcut, Market Arcade could be an avenue for discovering the historic heart of Newport, helping to reignite fond memories of quality, identity and friendship.  

The project includes opportunities for local people to access, learn about, enjoy and participate in the heritage associated with the arcade. 

Proposed activities include the development of treasure trails, graphic displays outlining historical significance and designing a High Street interpretation point.  

If you, or a group you know, would like to be involved in the delivery of these activities please email market.arcade@newport.gov.uk.

Public Space Protection Order (PSPO)

The Market Arcade PSPO (pdf) is in operation from 16 November 2020. 

 

 Market Arcade lottery logos

TRA125962 30/09/2020