More than 150 of Newport’s
most prominent civic and business leaders were urged to build on a momentous
year of progress at the conclusion of the second Newport City Summit.
The event, staged
at the Celtic Manor Resort on Friday 7
November, heard how Newport
had enjoyed unprecedented global profile in 2014 thanks to the successful staging
of the NATO Summit in September.
It was also
announced that another prestigious gathering of world statesmen and strategy
shapers would take place at Celtic Manor in 2015 when the InterAction Council
is held in Newport from 2-5 June. The InterAction Council is a body of former
world leaders, including former US President Bill Clinton, which develops
practical solutions to the world’s political, economic and social problems.
also told about the opportunities presented by the legacy of the NATO Summit and
other initiatives like the Friars Walk retail development.
upbeat welcome message from summit host Roger Hiscott, opening speaker
Councillor Bob Bright, the Leader of Newport City Council, gave an update on
city centre regeneration.
Cllr Bright said:
In April we had a ground-breaking ceremony for the Friars Walk development and
just eight months later this will be matched by a corresponding topping out
ceremony. This will deliver a modern, vibrant shopping centre in the heart of
our city. Every day, visitors to the city centre can feel the change that the
development is having. The people of Newport are resourceful, ambitious and ready to
Simon Gibson, the
Chairman of the ReNewport Task Force, told the summit that a number of the task
force’s recommendations had already been realised in 2014. These include the
• The Platform
(new incubation space)
• Coding Boot Camp
• Digital Youth
• Tourism Forum
• Annual Digital
Chief Executive Ian Edwards looked back at the NATO Summit and also looked ahead
to the event’s legacy which includes attracting more major events such as this
month’s Investment Conference. Advanced plans for a new Wales International
Convention Centre would make more of these events possible and transform the
local economy, he said.
Ceri Doyle, Chief
Executive of Newport City Homes, explained how the recent and future progress needed
to be part of a cohesive narrative to “Build the Newport Story”.
the most effective mechanisms for cities to reposition themselves is to have a
powerful story to tell about change.
All the speakers
answered questions from an engaged audience and a live tweet wall showed the
social media reach of the summit, with the #newportsummit hashtag at one stage
trending at 6
in the UK on Twitter. Wrapping up the
second Newport City Summit, Newport City Council Chief Executive Will Godfrey
It’s vital that we work together to ensure that Newport continues to be
seen as a City on the Rise.