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We should learn from the continent when it comes to helping our high streets

Dave McLoughlin, manages popular Newport pub, The Hogshead and with his wife Charlie, owns Sweet Charlies just next door, which specialises in crepes,waffles and ice cream delivered in a fun way.

A huge supporter of what Newport has to offer, Dave shares his journey so far and the potential Newport’s High Street has to be a place where people choose to linger longer.

“When you look at High Streets around the country lots of them are struggling but in Newport we are pretty lucky as there aren’t many empty shops and we have lots of independents.

“We’ve got a lot of promise in Newport. We are a very pretty town, without a shadow of a doubt and I think people tend to take that for granted. We are lucky to have some really beautiful buildings.

Learning from continental neighbours

“We have the potential to have a continental feel and there are lessons we could learn from others. European towns do seem to encourage people to work together to create a better place for everyone to enjoy.

“The Jubilee street party in the High Street was a great example of what can be achieved. People were able to wander around, there was a great vibe and people loved being here.

“In Paris and other European cities they reclaim the streets on certain nights and I think we should look at doing something similar. Once a month on a Friday or Saturday night we could redirect the traffic and reclaim the street.

“It’s definitely worth considering.”

Business background

“I’ve worked for the Stonegate Group, who own the Hogshead, for the past 13 years. At one stage in my life I had moved off the Island for eight years but the owners offered me the Hogshead and I knew it was where I wanted to be.

“We’ve turned it into a very popular pub and a real social hotspot for Newport. We are well known for our quiz nights and sport – it’s a place I love and it’s where I met my wife Charlie.

“We both wanted to have our own business too. When I think back to my childhood and when my mum was alive, I remember the pancakes she used to make us and how much we enjoyed them.

“Charlie and I realised there wasn’t anywhere on the Island selling pancakes and waffles so we decided to specialise in that and combine the food with the business Charlie had started from our home making hand crafted gift bouquets.

“I look after the business side of things which allows Charlie to do what she does best. We opened in May 2021 and when we painted the building, everyone loved it and said it brightened up the High Street. We wanted to grab people’s attention and while it’s still early days, we think it’s a good concept and we would love to franchise it.

“We’ve recently received an award for being the best newcomer and that’s really nice to be recognised in that way.”