Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Newport has today, Monday 14 July, marked the centenary of the completion of the South Dock and the opening of the South Lock with a celebration at the port.
The South Lock was officially opened on 14 July 1914 by Prince Arthur of Connaught, a grandson of Queen Victoria. Lord Tredegar’s steam yacht The Liberty became the first ship to pass through the Lock, when it transported Prince Arthur to the docks during the celebrations.
On today’s centenary dignitaries and visitors were treated to the unveiling by the Mayor of Newport of a commemorative mosaic by local artist Stephanie Roberts, who worked with the local community and ABP employees to make the installation. The mosaic, which depicts a modern and early 20th century dockworker, perfectly encapsulates the celebration of old and new. The mosaic will be will be permanently displayed on the wall of the Newport Mission to Seafarers and is available for public viewing.
The premier of an animated film about the history of the port, made by local school children from Pillgwenlly Primary School, was also unveiled as part of the development of resources that other schools will use in the future.
Guests were also invited to tour the port, which has grown from Wales’ foremost coal port to one of the UK’s leading steel handling ports and a world leader in new industries such as metal recycling.
Matthew Kennerley, ABP Director South Wales, said: “Today the Port of Newport is thriving. Thanks to the dedication of those who have worked here throughout the years, the loyalty and support of our customers, together with the continued investment in the port’s development, we are able to offer world-class facilities which help our customers develop their businesses and compete internationally.
“But we wouldn’t be here today without the ambition and vision of those people who originally invested in the creation of the docks in Newport. Today I am proud to say that we are continuing to invest in the port’s future prosperity.”
In the past 18 months ABP has invested more than £10m in the docks at Newport. This includes £2.5m refurbishing its Atlantic Shed warehouse to provide additional covered space for its growing steel and bulks business; £1.1m on quay strengthening works; £1.7m on a new rail bridge; and £1.6m on a Mobile Harbour Crane. There has also been extensive investment in sustainable energy in the port, with a new £300,000 solar array and a further £3m being spent on a 125m tall, 2.3 mw wind turbine, which together will help supply a significant amount of the power required to operate the port.
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