Market Arcade

Market Arcade logo fc

Open Doors 2021 - Tours

UPDATE 31 AUGUST 21 - Tours are now fully booked. 

Open Doors is part of the wider European Heritage Days programme, it has seen hundreds of Welsh venues offer free entry, activities and events throughout September.

As part of the Open Doors 2021 programme, we are offering tours of the Market Arcade site and its surrounding area.

These free tours will begin with a look at the architecture of Newport’s High Street area and then enter Market Arcade. Inside the arcade there will be a guided tour regarding the history of the structure and an up-to-date account of the restoration project.

Please note that there is a limit of five persons per tour.

Wed 08 Sep 2021

11:00 - 12:00

13:00 - 14:00

14:00 - 15:00

Sun 12 Sep 2021

11:00 - 12:15

13:00 - 14:15

15:00 - 16:15

To book a place, email with your name, the date and time of the tour you wish to book onto, and how many places you wish to book.

One of our team will then be in touch to confirm your booking if space is available.

Inside the arcade there are uneven surfaces, and towards the end of the tour, there will be a steep staircase to ascend which may restrict access for some.

Each tour will meet outside the Market Arcade entrance near 11 High Street.

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. 


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 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. 

Current status  

Following closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the site has reopened and contractor Anthony A Davies Ltd (AAD) has focused on the renewal of the roof, due for completion in October 2020.

In addition, chimneys and the communal staircase have been repaired and glazing and drainage installed. 

Market Arcade glass roof

Market Arcade's new glass roof  

A design for the entrance gates has been finalised and these are being manufactured before installation, followed by production and installation of the shopfronts.  

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 with a heading of 'Market Arcade'. 

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