Plans for an international convention centre at the Celtic Manor Resort near Newport have been approved by councillors.
The new 20,000sqm Wales International Convention Centre at the resort, owned by billionaire Sir Terry Matthews, will now go ahead over three floors on land next to Junction 24 of the M4. Newport City Council’s Planning Committee gave the go-ahead in a meeting on 1 July.
Up to 150 extra jobs could be created as a result of the new ICC, Celtic Manor Vice-President Russell Phillips told the committee.
The venue is to host September’s Nato summit, with 60 world leaders in attendance. Phillips said the resort currently spends around £23m within the NP postcode but with the convention centre this could increase to £30m.
Committee Chairman Councillor Paul Hannon said: “This is a red letter day for Newport. There’s no doubt that when these proposals go ahead we will have a world-class convention centre here in our city.
Phillips told CN: “We are pleased that the new Wales International Conference Centre has received outline planning permission from Newport City Council.
“After more than a year of planning to put the application together, it was good to hear that the Planning Committee recognised the importance of this development opportunity and the enormous economic benefits it will bring to the City of Newport and South Wales.
“We now look forward to the next stage of the planning process and we will be preparing a detailed application for full planning permission for December.”
The new planned development will deliver a main auditorium and an exhibition hall catering for up to 4,000 delegates, as well as a new 1,800-space multi-storey car park.
The Welsh government has already said it will match fund the project’s initial stage.
Gwent Wildlife Trust expressed concern, however, that the plans would result in the loss of ancient woodland. Mitigation measures have been proposed, it is understood.
In parallel, proposals for a convention centre in Cardiff are also progressing albeit more slowly. A procurement plan is being drawn up for a 1,500-delegate centre as part of a 12,000-seat indoor arena.
Celtic Manor staged the Ryder Cup in 2010 and the EU Foreign Ministers’ Summit in 2005, but the new plans will more than double plenary capacity.
Celtic Manor opened 10 new luxury lodges this spring. Each holds eight people and the main target is golf groups.
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