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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Fears over city's landmark clock
Festival Clock in John Frost Square
The clock was made for the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival in 1992
A landmark clock in Newport city centre is to be put into storage during redevelopment work but there are fears it will not be re-erected.

The timepiece, which was made for the Ebbw Vale Garden Festival in 1992, has stood in the city's John Frost Square after being bought for nearly 100,000.

Other monuments are also being put into storage including a war memorial.

A Newport Council spokesman said no plans had been made on where the pieces will be placed after work is completed.

The clock is just one of several items of "public art works" within the city centre that is having to be moved as work takes place as part of the multi-million pound Modus and Kingsway retail regeneration schemes.

It had become one of the city's visitor attractions because of how it opens up on the hour to reveal figures inside, although in recent months the mechanisms within the clock have failed.

Newport Council has confirmed that it will be dismantled and put into storage along with the other art works but admitted that no firm plans had been made for where they will be re-erected.

It has led to fears that the clock and other pieces will not be re-erected once the work has been completed.

Festival Clock opening up in John Frost Square
The clock opened up to reveal figures inside

Councillor Peter Davies said: "The clock hasn't been working for some time, I took my grandson to see it and realised it was broken, so I wrote to the council asking when it was going to be fixed."

He said the reply he received informed him that the clock was being put into storage during the renovation works.

"I asked where it was going to be put [after the works] and they didn't know," he said.

"I think this is awful - they've got a trophy piece of clockwork and they don't know where they are going to put it.

"They spent nearly 100,000 on it 10 years ago so I should think it is worth a lot more money now."

Mr Davies said he feared that the clock would remain in storage and not be re-erected at all.

"We need to maintain what we have got and I'm determined to ensure that what we have paid for remains and doesn't disappear," he added.

He said he was concerned about the future of the other pieces being put into storage including wall mosaics and other items.

Michael Francis from Newport Civic Society added: "There seems be a number of problems and we keep hammering away at them but we just don't know whether it will make a difference.

"We know the clock is going and we are very concerned about the sculpture that is there, we had hoped they would be able to incorporate it in the design but they weren't able to.

"So it looks like it will be removed."

A spokesman for Newport Council said the clock would be dismantled within weeks and put into storage.

He added that although no plans had been made for where the pieces will be re-erected, detailed plans due to be received by the council from developers were expected to give further information.

"The clock will be moved in advance of the redevelopment works starting next year. A new location is yet to be confirmed," he said.




SEE ALSO
City footbridge opened to public
12 Sep 06 |  South East Wales
Experts start on steel site plans
03 Aug 06 |  South East Wales
City centre college campus backed
18 Mar 06 |  South East Wales
City's 30-year vision is revealed
05 Oct 05 |  South East Wales

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