Hundreds of new jobs in the pipeline at revised £20m ‘Megabowl’ scheme

Newport’s former Megabowl complex is being readied for conversion into a £20m state-of-the art retail centre with the potential to create hundreds of new jobs, it has been revealed.

The scheme would see the former bowling alley complex at Newport Retail Park, empty since it was vacated by Megabowl in 2005, transformed into an ultra modern retail hub, renamed the Mega Centre, providing a total of 55,000 sq ft of space.

The inspired project, by landowners and well established South Wales developers Johnsey Estates, comes in the wake of an earlier scheme to build a food superstore on the site.

Mega Centre, next door to the very popular Cineworld, would be served by 700 free car parking spaces. The developers have even created a web-based ‘fly though’ video to show how the completed development could look.

Terry Johnsey, of Johnsey Estates, said: “We’ve developed plans to redevelop the empty Megabowl centre as the Mega Centre and bring it back into beneficial use for the people of Newport at what is now recognised as Newport’s premier retail location.

“We have already registered keen interest in the scheme with a number of well-known operators now looking to come on board.”

Mr Johnsey said the creation by Tesco of its 140,000 sq ft superstore at Spytty, which when complete in November 2011 will be among the largest of its stores in Europe, will add to the magnetic attraction of the location.
He said the option still remained open for Johnsey Estates to create a retail superstore on the former bowling alley complex site subject to demand.

Commenting on the location of Mega Centre Mr Johnsey said: “With the new link through and to from Junction 23a of the M4 through Llanwern steelworks makes this site an extremely popular in terms of accessibility and location.

“Add to this the planned residential development of some 2,000 new homes over five years on 600 acres of the former Llanwern steelworks site and it’s hardly surprising that interest in taking space at the Mega Centre is red hot.”

Mr Johnsey said: “Newport Retail Park is a designated District Centre which is intended to serve the eastern side of Newport, including the major Eastern Expansion Area.

“The proposed scheme represents an ideal opportunity to improve competition and choice, to make use of this long-vacant building, to provide a major improvement to the quality and appearance of the building and to provide up to 400 new jobs including some 100 during construction.”

Robert Carew-Chaston, of South Wales-based Hutchings & Thomas Chartered Surveyors, who acts as agent advising Johnsey Estates said: “The unique position of the Mega Centre development, with its proximity to Newport’s Southern Distributor Road and the new link to the M4 and residential development land at Llanwern, makes it an unrivalled retailing location.”