The scaffolding has started to go up and work has started on the transformation of the former Royal Mail sorting office in the centre of Newport into grade A 'first of its kind' office space.

Developers Garrison Barclay say they have had interest in the building from legal firms, architectural practices, insurance brokers and a London-based cyber security company.

The six-storey building in Mill Street, which was most-recently home to Newport-based manufacturer IAC Ltd, has planning permission for 50,000 sq ft of ‘grade A’ office space, with 84 parking spaces.

An extension to the building will be demolished to make way for a new access from Mill Street, while the ground floor will be repurposed as an open plan reception and lounge area.

Michael Southall, the agent representing Garrison Barclay, said: “It will be the first feature of its kind in Newport and will provide an economic boost to the area. The scheme represents a huge investment.”

A spokesman for Cardiff-based Garrison Barclay, which is also currently converting Chartist Tower in the city centre into a four-star hotel, said: "The internal demolition has taken place, our main contractor Troika has been appointed, scaffolding contractors are now on site, and the windows are due to be removed in the next two weeks."

The spokesman said it was expecting work to be completed in about 28 weeks.


He said: "There is a shortage of good quality office space within Newport city centre and the city would benefit from seeing businesses who are currently located at out of town business parks, relocated back into the city centre.

"A number of occupiers are considering Newport as it offers an affordable solution against its neighbouring cities, Cardiff and Bristol where headline rents for Grade A space is £25 per sq ft and £35 per sq ft respectively, compared to £16 per sq ft in Newport.

"Employees health and wellbeing is becoming increasingly more important to employers in order to attract the best workforce. This building offers a very spacious environment with high ceilings, a lot of natural light with a very quirky design making it a much more interesting place to work."

The building, which is close to the city's railway station, has there is an 'agreement for lease' in place on the first floor for a co-working, flexible office provider ‘Work and Meet Limited’.

Garrison Barclay had originally planned for the former sorting office to be converted into a 80-bed hotel with offices, a scheme backed by a £12m council loan but the project was shelved after the hotel chain pulled out of the deal.

The project is the second from Garrison Barclay in Newport city centre. It is currently converting Newport's tallest building, Chartist Town, into a 163-bed Mercure Hotel, which is set to be open early in the new year.