Support pledge for town centre

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has spoken to reassure local retailers and the community, that it remains firmly committed to supporting the town centre.

The statement saying it is keen to drive further investment, growth and prosperity, came in light of last week’s announcement that two local retail businesses in Banbridge have entered into administration.

Lord Mayor Councillor Darryn Causby, said: “These businesses have served the local community for many years and are important to the town centre’s retail landscape.

“I sincerely hope that Musgrave and the administrators will act quickly and come to a resolution which retains their presence and preserves all those jobs under threat.

“Town centres are the heart of our communities and it remains the Council’s absolute priority to continue to drive and support a wide range of targeted initiatives which will enable the local retail sector to thrive.

“Much work has been done, with several major initiatives delivered which have made a real, positive and supportive impact for local retailers, and, working with our retailers, pledge that more will be achieved.”

“The viability of our town centres is essential to the health of the local economy..”

The council went on to outline their initiatives including: over 60 free shop-front makeovers, free Wi-Fi, support for a major retail initiative - Independent’s Day, major public realm works, free parking every Saturday in December, a brand new ‘Click and Collect’ pilot project in January aimed at retail businesses and in early 2016, a new mentoring programme aimed at equipping commercial landlords with advice and support to drive greater interest in the retail spaces available.

The Lord Mayor added: “In addition to initiatives already delivered, I look forward to overseeing the delivery of a new ‘Banbridge Masterplan’ which will underline the Council’s direction and commitment to the local sector.”