Celtic Manor to host ex-world leaders for summit

Celtic Manor Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Celtic Manor was the venue for a Nato summit in September

Former world leaders will visit Newport next year for a meeting to discuss global issues such as the Middle East.

The 65 dignitaries from such countries as Canada, Australia, Germany and France will be at the Celtic Manor Resort for the InterAction Council from June 2 to 5.

They will discuss issues including climate change and water supplies.

The announcement comes two months after the venue hosted world leaders at the Nato Wales Summit.

The InterAction Council will see the former global leaders, people like ex-Prime Minister John Major, congregate in south Wales along with experts on subjects of global importance.

Simon Gibson from the Celtic Manor said the announcement of another "major global event" for Newport was "great news for Wales" which would keep the city "on the map".

Mr Gibson added that the dignitaries are also expected to carry out some outreach work, engaging with people and organisations in Wales.

'Dynamic future'

It comes as business leaders from the region discuss the legacy of the Nato summit.

They want to build on the event two months ago which put the area on the world stage, with 60 government heads and 5,500 people attending.

Businesses, civic and academic leaders have gathered at the Celtic Manor to look at the city's economic development as council leaders plan to build on a "pivotal year".

A regeneration task force wants to build a "dynamic future".

Leader of Newport City Council Bob Bright said the city had seen "a boost in confidence" after Nato.

As well as developments involving the £40m University of South Wales campus, outline planning approval has been given for the Wales International Convention Centre off the M4.

It would have room for 4,000 conference delegates.

Image copyright AP
Image caption President Obama's visit to a Newport school with David Cameron before the main business of the Nato summit got under way
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Two months on from Nato - but can Newport take advantage
Image copyright AP
Image caption The Nato security operation was unprecedented in Wales

Ceri Doyle, new chief executive of Newport City Homes, is a newcomer.

She only arrived to work in the city two months ago from London, where she admitted the "Whitehall set" were a bit snobbish about her leaving for Wales and Newport.

Her role will be to help lead the re-building and regeneration of housing in the city and she is speaking at the city summit.

'Tanks on lawns'

But she said Newport can benefit overall if its message is clear and it learns from other towns and cities.

"Organically Newport is beginning to re-invent itself but we need business and civic leaders to grab the bull by the horns to create a clear narrative for the city," she said.

"People have to work together and sing from the same hymn sheet.

"I lived in Glasgow and it used to be a city known for cutthroat razors, but after the 1990 City of Culture it transformed itself and people are still going there.

"What sort of legacy do we want for Newport - is it going to be like Glasgow? Are we going to be the city of the Transporter Bridge and the Chartists?"

She added: "To see tanks on the lawns of the Celtic Manor and Newport on NBC, Sky and all the TV channels, it's going to not just put the city on the map but Wales too."

Image copyright PA
Image caption There were around 60 heads of state and government in Newport for two days
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Tanks on the lawn - military hardware on show for the Nato leaders

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