A Place Plan for Newport was commissioned by Newport Parish Council, Newport Business Association and the Isle of Wight Council; and after a big local consultation exercise over winter 2017-18 the first results have come out.
People who live in, work in and visit Newport have been expressing their views about the future of the town.
Following online and paper surveys, information was collected from nine public events, email and telephone calls, and 46 local groups.
Over 15,000 comments were captured from 3,000 people of all ages.
The Shaping Newport report, compiled by Arc Consulting Isle of Wight, draws attention to the natural, cultural and social assets of the town and the opportunity it offers its residents, commuters and visitors.
The feedback also identified priorities for change, including a lack of pride in the town, transport and parking problems, and the care and maintenance of public areas.
The resulting document suggests actions in response to these priorities, including a new town centre partnership which could set up a Shaping Newport budget to pay for the work needed.
Wayne Whittle, Isle of Wight council cabinet member for business development, regeneration and tourism, said: “This engagement has brought back some remarkable results.
“As well as some of the issues we expected to find, there has been a lot of detailed comment, ideas and feedback which has really influenced the proposals we will now be taking forward as part of the Island Regeneration Programme, alongside the emerging plans for Newport Harbour.”
Councillor Julie Jones–Evans said “Having this profile of Newport, how people feel about it and what they would like to see happen is just fantastic.
“Newport Parish Council is in a good position to help make some of the recommendations happen; indeed we already are with our new town map and street art.”
Leon Reader of Newport Business Association added, “The Newport business community has long sensed peoples’ frustration with issues such as traffic congestion, parking, and lack of investment or care for our historic county town.
“This project has listened carefully to all corners of the community, and as a result, generated a plan and recommendations for the good of residents and visitors.
“This is a huge step forward from where we have been, and Newport Business Association looks forward to supporting the actions that will result from this project.”