LONDON, 2015-11-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium welcomes the news that traders have voted to establish a Business Improvement District (BID) for Belfast City Centre. A BID allows businesses within a defined area to come together on a number of important issues, including achieving reduced business costs through collective procurement of goods and services, investing in improvements and agreeing a set of projects which will deliver on these improvements including marketing the area on its own particular strengths.
However, the Director of the NIRC, Aodhán Connolly, says that the Department for Social Development has more to do:
“While the progress on BIDs in Belfast, Ballymena, Enniskillen, Newry and Strabane is welcomed, we here in Northern Ireland are playing catch up with our counterpart towns and cities in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. The Northern Ireland BIDs Academy is a positive step and influence in this area but what we have been calling for in this past 3 years is a start-up fund to allow the towns across Northern Ireland that need it most to be able to get a solid platform to rejuvenate their high streets.
“BIDs are another way to make our towns and cities ready for business in the 21st century. A fund that could benefit small towns as much as our traditional market towns and cities can only do more to support not only our industry, but leisure, hospitality and all business sectors. And under our proposals, that money would be paid back from successful BIDs, enabling even more of our struggling high streets to benefit. A virtuous circle of investment.
“This may be a time of austerity but for Northern Ireland to be a competitive place to do business we need an investment from government that will actually make a tangible difference. With one in six of our shops lying empty their could not be a better time for funds to support all of our towns.”
For media enquiries please contact Aodhán Connolly, Director of the NIRC, on 07880039744 firstname.lastname@example.org