How Newport has changed over the years – in pictures

ANYONE returning to Newport after a long absence may be in for a surprise or two – as plenty has changed.

Admittedly this isn’t unique to Newport, but over the years, the city has said goodbye to some landmarks, and welcomed others.

Even for those who have remained regular visitors or residents to the city, some of the changes might take you by surprise.

After all, change can sometimes be hard to see when it happens right in front of you.

Handily, the tech bods at Google have got you covered in that respect.

Thanks to the Google Street View service, it is possible to visit a location, and look back at that same space in years gone by.

Across Newport, it shows just how much has changed in the last 15 years, and you can check out some of our highlights below.

Newport through the years: Before and after

ABC Cinema/Travel Lodge

Located on Bridge Street in Newport city centre, this building has gone through a radical change over the years.

For many a year, it was the home of the ABC cinema, and generations of residents enjoyed a movie or two here.

ABC Cinema/Travelodge Newport Central

One Argus reporter informs us that watching the masterpiece that is Shrek 2 here was a particular highlight.

But, for well over a decade now, it is offering a different service.

These days, the building is home to budget hotel Travelodge, who offer visitors to the city a place to sleep after a long day city sightseeing.

friars walk

Arguably the biggest transformation in Newport city center, there was no real prospect of this being missed out.

In 2008, this area was a lovely day out for fans of brutalist architecture, with the former car park dominating the skyline above Newport bus station.

South Wales Argus: Friars Walk: before and afterFriars Walk: before and after

But, the car park has since been confined to the history books, the bus station reconfigured, and the large scale Friars Walk Shopping Center built.

Once opened in 2015, it changed the game when it comes to shopping, dining and entertainment in Newport – with something for everyone.

These days, its legacy is more complicated, with the closure of Debenhams, and the uncertainty of Cineworld.

Newport Railway Station

It may not enjoy the best reputation locally, but it is undeniable that the railway station has been radically altered.

A pretty unique main station building spans the railway tracks, and offers access down to all four platforms.

South Wales Argus: Newport Railway Station: Old and newNewport Railway Station: Old and new

It might not win any beauty contests (although beauty is in the eye of the beholder), but it serves as a functional gateway on a busy section of railway.

The new station building may lack the grandiose of the old station building, but there can be little doubt that at platform level, it is a change for the better.

Admiral Building

Is it cheating if we haven’t moved from the previous location?

Instead, we pulled a cheeky 180 spin, where the Admiral Building currently stands.

Previously, it was a fairly unremarkable chunk of city center land, and probably one that was passed by without any fanfare.

South Wales Argus: Admiral Building: before and afterAdmiral Building: before and after

Now, it is home to one of the biggest buildings in the city, and up until recently, home to one of the biggest employers.

It will be interesting to see what happens here in a few years’ time, with Admiral vacating the site as part of a pivot to home working.

Tesco Spytty

The concept of going to the big shop is a stuff of legend, but for a long time, the people of Spytty didn’t have that luxury.

Sure, they had access to a Tesco store, but it was fairly unremarkable. Remove dated and tired even.

South Wales Argus: Tesco in SpyttyTesco in Spytty

But these days, that is certainly not the case.

Several years ago, it was replaced by what can only be described as a big boy Tesco Extra store.

One of the biggest in the UK, it is a one stop shop for pretty much all of your essentials, and who doesn’t love that?

Chartist Tower

There is a definite irony to this one, but the tallest building in Newport was actually the trickiest to actually capture in photos.

Annoyingly, many of the best views are obstructed by other buildings, such is the way that cities tend to work.

Making the best of what we’ve got, Chartist Tower was, for the longest time, mostly empty.

South Wales Argus: Chartist TowerChartist Tower

An office building, there were floors and floors which were simply standing empty.

But, more recently, the building which dates back to 1966 has been treated to fresh cladding, and has been transformed into a huge Mercure Hotel – set to open in just a matter of weeks.

Lower down is mixed use office and retail space, including the home of the South WalesArgus.

You can find out just what they are up to right here.

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