Newport Summit Builds on Year of Progress

Category: Events, News


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 th 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.

Delegates were also told about the opportunities presented by the legacy of the NATO Summit and other initiatives like the Friars Walk retail development.

Following an 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 embrace change. 

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 creation of:

• Innovation Company

• National Software Academy

• The Platform (new incubation space)

• Coding Boot Camp

• Digital Youth Clubs

• Tourism Forum

• Annual Digital Conference

Celtic Manor 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”.  She said: 

One of 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 th in the UK on Twitter. Wrapping up the second Newport City Summit, Newport City Council Chief Executive Will Godfrey said:

It’s vital that we work together to ensure that Newport continues to be seen as a City on the Rise.

Reader comments (0)

Post your own

Add your comment

What happens with my feedback?
Your name
Your email
This will not be shown  
Your website (optional)
If provided, we will link to this from your name
Your comment
Add comment

Subscribe to Celtic Manor Blog and receive the latest post updates straight to your inbox!