Belfast Mayor meets businesses leaders on plan to boost city centre
25 July 2022
Belfast Mayor Tina Black met today with business leaders to look at boosting trade in the city centre and make it more attractive for families to live, work and shop in.
The Sinn Féin councillor said it had been a productive meeting. And she has agreed to do a walkabout with traders and businesses to hear at first hand their ideas about making Belfast a better city for all.
The engagement comes in response to recent concerns regarding cleanliness, dereliction, anti-social behaviour and drug and alcohol addiction related issues reported widely in the media and on social media platforms.
Tina Black said:
“This was a very useful and productive meeting with Retail NI and representatives of the business community.
“We have a shared goal of making Belfast city centre a better place to live, work and do business in.
“There is a real desire to work together to get the job done.
“I have agreed to do a walkabout with the businesses in the city centre. I want to hear their concerns at first hand, around cleanliness, about how best to support vulnerable people and make the city centre a family friendly space.
“Council has committed to a number of initiatives aimed at tackling these problems. These include organising free family fun events and a number of pilot schemes aimed at tackling some of the more difficult issues.
“I have called a meeting this Friday of party group leaders and relevant statutory bodies in economy, health, justice and communities to see how best we can make our city centre a better space for all.”
In a joint statement, Colin Neill, CEO, Hospitality Ulster and Glyn Roberts, CEO, Retail NI said:
“A clean, safe environment is paramount to ensuring that customers and shoppers continue to spend time in and enjoy the city centre. We know that keeping a city clean and tidy is an intensive and constant process that takes resource and commitment.”
“This is not a time to be negative about the situation we are currently in, but about finding solutions about how we move forward. We now need to have focus and energy to resolve the issues - we do not underestimate the size of the challenge. We welcome the fact that the Council is in the process of establishing a multi-agency and departmental Taskforce to tackle these problems.”
“This is an important part of the year when we welcome hundreds of thousands of tourists, shoppers and local customers into Belfast City Centre on a daily and weekly basis. It is no more apparent when the weather is good that we need to do all that we can to support the Council in making Belfast City Centre a vibrant and attractive place to socialise and shop in.”