A watchtower on a Grade II listed building in Newport’s former docks area may enable Paul Fosh to keep an eye on his new auction venture across the River Severn in Bristol.

The building is the new base for Paul Fosh Auctions, which is moving from Newport’s Church Road after 14 years to set up in a much larger premises in Lower Dock Street, Pill.

The move by Wales’ largest and most successful property auction business to new site, which was formerly housed an Italian restaurant, over three floors with sweeping staircase, has been prompted by expansion and the need for more space.

Paul Fosh, owner and auctioneer of the business, recently announced the opening of new auction bases in Bristol to serve the city and the south west and another at Bangor, in North Wales.

Paul, who first established Paul Fosh Auctions at offices in the Gold Tops area of the city, says there is plenty of room to expand at the former Bella Mammas, Gambarini restaurant.

He said: “There is even a watchtower on top of the building which, when the building was originally used as an immigration centre linked to the Port of Newport in the last century, would be used as a look out for ships and boats entering the harbour.

“Our new premises offer a huge amount of space over three floors and a basement in which to expand. There is also parking. We will be able to house our existing and new staff, all our records, keep dead files currently stored elsewhere on site, and also to develop and grow new areas of the business, such as property management and property related gatherings.

“I believe that the Lower Dock Street area, a once very important part of the busy town linked to the Port of Newport but more recently a rather neglected part of the city of Newport, is an up and coming area.

“The new building we have acquired gives us a prominent new presence reflecting our stature as a growing business which is proud of its roots in the city of Newport.”

The privately-owned property auctions business has been number one in the auction charts in Wales for the past decade selling £23.7m worth of properties last year alone (2016).

Paul Fosh Auctions stages eight auction sales a year from its sales room at The Park Inn Hotel, Cardiff. It has plans to stage a similar amount each year in North Wales and in Bristol. The recently launched Paul Fosh Auction online offering will also be boosted by the expansion.

Paul Fosh Auctions sold 339 properties at a total value of £23.7m in 2016 a quarter of all the 1,233 properties at auction throughout Wales during the year.