Newport City Council has accepted Councilor Tim Nelson’s proposal to conduct a feasibility study on the idea of using a houseboat as a hospitality facility.
Permanently moored at the quay adjacent to the Black Shed, at Water Lane, the cafe would be rented out and its community use retained outside meeting times and as a meeting place.
Councilor Nelson said: “Residents, because of their own lived experience of visiting other areas, said ‘I remember seeing a boat that was a cafe or a restaurant’.
“They’re quaint, it’s different, something nice and whimsical.
“For a tourism and leisure destination like Newport, which is a powerhouse of restaurant, drink and cafe culture, it’s simply about sustaining what is already a success story.”
Councilor Nelson added: “Dining in Newport is very popular. It’s part of the prosperity of the town and a café boat would be complementary to the existing things the town has to offer.
“We know cafes are popular here, but they’re scattered across the High Street.
“A lot of visitors start or end their trip in this canal area. Wouldn’t it be nice if visitors could stop there to eat and drink?
“The narrowboats enhance the natural beauty of the canal, but they also indicate that it is a waterway, a canal and part of our industrial heritage.”
Now, Councilor Nelson examines the plan in more detail.
“Newport City Council has formally agreed to proceed with a feasibility study to create a business plan to install a coffee boat,” he said.
“I can approach third parties on behalf of the board and engage with experts, understanding aspects such as environmental impact and the business side.”
Maintenance and annual costs will be reviewed, but Councilor Nelson said well-maintained boats can last up to 100 years.