PLANS to remove security hoardings at the front of a hotel linked to the Chartist uprising have been given the go-ahead.

Located in the centre of Newport, the Westgate Hotel played a major part in the city's history, serving as the central location in the chain of events which led to the Newport Rising.

During the November 1839 revolt, over demands for an extension to the right to vote, 3,000 Chartists, led by John Frost, marched on the hotel in an attempt to secure the release of five Chartists being held under arrest at the hotel.

But, anyone visiting Commercial Street today might easily miss the now-empty hotel, as the former grand entrance has been boarded up for quite some time.

Now, plans to return the main entrance of the building to a more visually appealing design have been given the go-ahead, with listed building consent having been granted to remove the security boards, and to install a new and improved front door – providing a mixture of original charm and modern security features.

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Once completed, it will allow visitors to use the main entrance of the hotel to visit any future events held inside the Westgate Hotel.

Currently, the site is accessed from a side entrance on Stow Hill.

What do plans show?

In November 2020, David Daniel of Rise Propaganda submitted a planning application to Newport City Council, detailing plans to “remove the security hoarding and dilapidated front door, and replace with new front door” at the Westgate Hotel.

The application notes that while the existing doors are not the building’s original ones, the change is set to alter the appearance of the building, and as such, listed building consent is needed.

Crucially, the new door and entranceway will also have spotlights and a camera up above the door itself, in a bid to maintain security at the city centre site.

The National Wales: The boarded up entrance of the hotelThe boarded up entrance of the hotel

Though historic, the hotel isn’t technically the original Westgate Hotel – instead built in 1884 to replace the original venue.

Built in a French Renaissance style, the hotel is Grade II listed.

This includes the entrance on Commercial Street, which is located in between shops and a café.

The entranceway is located underneath what is described as a prominent “façade, embellished from floor to rooftop with protruding elements, increased fenestration and the iconic iron porch displaying the building name.”

In recent times, the entrance behind this has been obscured by hoardings, to prevent unauthorised access to the building, which has, for the most part, remained disused since 2009.

However, in recent years it has been subject to efforts to turn parts of the building, such as the ballroom, into event space.

Earlier this week, Newport City Council approved the plans.

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