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£400k boost for city's Park Centre

Over 20 new jobs are set to be created in west Belfast after a shopping centre signed up three new tenants.

The long-established Park Centre, at Donegall Road just off the Broadway roundabout, is welcoming Specsavers, Feetish fish pedicure and Card Factory following a £400,000 investment.

The centre is already home to 40 existing retailers including Dunnes Stores, New Look and Iceland.

Centre manager Chris Newton said that the news comes following a programme of extensive investment and improvements.

"During 2005-2008 we completed a £10m refurbishment and are continually looking for ways of improving the centre," Mr Newton said.

"The recent improvements to our First Trust Bank cash machines now make them more convenient for shoppers requiring disabled access.

"In addition, Feetish and an upcoming pop-up Christmas shop are reactions to changes in customer shopping trends."

Brian Gaffney, director of the Park Centre's letting agent, Colliers International said the news of the new tenants represents "a strong commitment to south and west Belfast in tough economic times".

"Specsavers are signed for a 15 year period which highlights their commitment to the centre as well as to its strong customer base in the area," he said.

"Colliers International in Belfast manages and lets more than 15 shopping centres across the UK and has found that there is still an appetite for growth, albeit on a lesser scale.

"These new lettings will encourage other retailers to follow suit and those who capitalise on current market conditions will create a low cost platform for future sales and profit growth," he added.