McAllister: Others must step up and help Belfast’s traders

Alliance Belfast Councillor Nuala McAllister has called on the Executive Office and Treasury to step up in the campaign to help traders and boost regeneration in Belfast’s City Centre.

The call comes in the wake of the #YourBelfast campaign being led by Belfast City Council, Visit Belfast and a number of high-profile celebrities.

Nuala – a former Lord Mayor – said that City Centre trade is vitally important to the continued growth and development of our city and the campaign reflects that. However, she has called on help from the Executive office and Treasury to ensure trade is fully restored.

“As Councillors in Belfast we are acutely aware of the importance of supporting trade in Belfast City Centre. This is an ongoing priority, but it has been put into sharp focus with the fire at Primark’s ‘Bank Buildings’.

“The #YourBelfast campaign demonstrates that we are doing what we can to step forward, lead and support traders. However, the Council can’t do this alone. Any successful solution must have joined up work form the Executive Office and Treasury in collaboration with Belfast City Council. The others must step up.

“Unfortunately, this has become a recurring problem and Belfast is suffering. During my year as Lord Mayor I was fully happy to step up and fill the leadership void on behalf of the people of Belfast and Northern Ireland, but that is not a sustainable solution. Belfast City Council has an important leadership role in developing Belfast’s economic potential, but it needs to be combined with genuine action from relevant Executive Departments.

“Since the collapse of the Executive at Stormont that has not been happening and incidents like the response to the fire in Belfast’s city centre demonstrates how it is having an impact not only on our future potential but the issues we face right now.

“If we want to do what’s best for Belfast, its people, its traders, its investors and its visitors we need a functioning Executive to work alongside Belfast City Council. The situation we have now is failing everyone.”

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