Plans to open a community arts venue in Newport city centre have taken a major move forward, with planning permission having been granted.

Earlier this year, our sister title, the South Wales Argus reported that plans to convert 22 Cambrian Road into a community arts space had been submitted to Newport City Council.

If approved, it would bring the empty retail unit, previously used as an estate agents and insurance consultants firm, back into use.

It was later revealed that Newport-based Reality Theatre is hoping to make Cambrian Road its new home.

This decision was made as the group is said to have "outgrown" its current Robbins Lane Studios home.

The group hopes to use the space for rehearsals, performances, workshops and events.

Now, with planning permission having been approved, the Reality Theatre’s plans have move forward.

Once up and running, it won’t be the first creative use of 22 Cambrian Road in Newport.

Over a decade ago, it found use as an art gallery.

According to old Argus reports, the premises was once home to the Ty Celf art gallery.

It is not immediately clear when this closed, but it is understood that it was no longer an art space by summer 2013.

What did planning officers say?

On Friday, June 10, council planning officers approved the application, which was submitted by Juls Benson of Reality Theatre.

Given the premises’ city centre location, in a predominantly commercial street, the plans did not face any real opposition.

No major changes to the layout of the building were proposed, and it was determined that “the proposed use of the ground floor would not result in an adverse impact on the amenity of the first and second floor occupiers.”

In terms of hours of operation, the premises is expected to be used between 9am – 6pm Monday through Friday.

It is also thought that 10-12 times a year there will be evening events and performances taking place, with a 10.30pm curfew.

But, given that there are “less sensitive uses in this area and existing late-night activity”, no late night conditions were imposed by the council.

What’s more, no parking provision was required due to the premises’ location within the city centre parking zone.

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Ms Benson of Reality Theatre said: “We outgrew Robbins Lane as we had too many sessions, participants, and projects.

“We needed a bigger space in which to reherase, hold sessions and perform.

“We wanted to establish an actual community arts base, for theatre, music, and short film, to develop the different strands of our company.

“We are going to have a full programme of activities, as we’ve had new funding – it is going to be great.”

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