Five years of Newport’s Friars Walk shopping centre in pictures


On the morning of November 12, 2015, people queued up patiently to experience the brand new development that had shot up in Newport city centre over the past two years.

Friars Walk, an extensive complex of glass and brightly coloured tiles, contrasted with the older Kingsway Centre next door.

The crowd which gathered on its inaugural morning, streamed excitedly into shops as the fences came down and the centre officially opened.

It had taken nearly £100,000 of investment, but with its opening Friars Walk created more than 1,200 jobs.

For many, it was a symbol of hope for the future of Newport’s economy – a sign that there were better things to come on the horizon.

Five years on, it is difficult to measure the success of the development or the impact it has had on the city.

On the one hand, early reports of new jobs and high footfall meant that there was a mood of quiet optimism around the development and Newport as a whole. Yet, in 2020, it has been hit with a wave of closures and job losses, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

But, whether people consider it a success or failure, Friars Walk has clearly changed the city centre.

This is how it has changed and adapted throughout its existence.

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