Nicholl: Sunday opening hours will be back on the agenda

Alliance Councillor Kate Nicholl has said city centre regeneration has hit a brick wall, after Belfast City Councillors failed to back proposals set to extend Sunday opening hours.

Speaking after the meeting, Kate said she was ‘extremely frustrated’ the proposal had fallen at the first hurdle, including the Alliance Party’s plans to see Sunday opening extended to Belfast City centre only.

“It’s really disappointing that our compromise solution was not even considered by those determined to put party politics above what’s best for Belfast,” Kate said.

“The failure to modernise Belfast City Centre not only makes city centre regeneration difficult, but could cost jobs and fails to open the city up to outside investment opportunities.

“Our proposal to limit opening hours to Belfast City centre took into account Unionist Councillor’s concerns and those worries of small, independent retailers outside of the core city centre area.

“Belfast is an opening and welcoming city, yet on a Sunday when tourists arrive they are met with closed doors and limited activities on offer. We must do better. Especially as over 81 percent of people consulted so far believe it will benefit tourism.

“Alliance will continue to work towards achieving a solution that not only opens our city, but respects the views of others and I hope to continue consulting on this issue until we can deliver that.”

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