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Newton Welcomes Belfast BID

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East Belfast DUP MLA Robin Newton, a member of the Policing Board, has welcomed the establishment of a Business Improvement District (BID) to cover Belfast's city centre. He said it is important for the city centre to survive and thrive and act as the economic driver for all of Belfast. The BID type approach by the city centre businesses has the potential to develop the area's commercial activity to an increased level.

Robin Newton said,

"Belfast, NI's capital city, is the economic engine room for Northern Ireland's economy as it attracts significant inward investment, provides entertainment facilities, an improving retail offer and vastly improving standards in the growing number of restaurants.

All of this is good news but the Business Improvements District type initiative must not be limited to the city centre alone. To maximise the full potential of Belfast local traders groups such as operate across the east of the city must be given similar opportunities and encouragement to develop their business district. Much work has been done by committed traders around commercial areas such as Ballyhackamore, Belmont and Holywood Arches. Other areas are emerging to face the current challenging business circumstances.

BIDs are a long established feature having operated in other countries for many years and with 200 across GB. A localised and coordinated approach may be attractive to the relatively small urban trading across the city. These local traders can play a major role in the development of the area, create and retain local jobs and improve the quality and the environment of the district; thet should be encouraged to do so."

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