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Retail alone can't save cities

I hear that shop guru Mary Portas has been hired to advise on regenerating high streets in Northern Ireland.

I really do hope she visits Lisburn - the place is a model of economic decline.

Lisburn City Council has announced a rates rise of 4%, which I imagine is its way of helping the situation.

To attract visitors it is necessary to provide entertainment and culture - not just retail.

The city needs a new theatre or art gallery to replace the arts centre in the council complex, which is a terrible venue.

GEORGE FREDRICKSON

Hillsborough, Co Down

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