Belfast Telegraph

Further boost for retail centre as five new shops to open

By Lesley Houston

More than 40 jobs are to be created as the doors of five new shops prepare to open at a County Down shopping centre.

The lettings at Ards Shopping Centre come hot on the heels of a £50m planned expansion at the site. The new shops include DV8, Card Factory, Paper Wishes, Yankee Candle and Home Cafe Farm.

Centre manager Ken McGavock said the news is evidence of a continued upturn in business.

"The announcement that planning permission had been granted for a £50m extension to the centre, coupled with these latest successes, add up to a massive boost for Ards Shopping Centre and Newtownards," he said.

Tony Kernan from BTW Shiells said the new tenants have been secured despite testing times for retailers and during "a period in which market conditions have never been tougher".

"For over 30 years, Ards Shopping centre has been an integral part of Newtownards and its surrounding hinterland, not only providing a progressive and eclectic retail mix but also as a major source of employment and an important economic force within the local community," he said.

"Having been given the 'green light' for planning permission for a £50m extension to the centre, we can be extremely optimistic about its commercial future."

Neville McDowell, Director, DV8 said the extension "certainly played its part in increasing commercial confidence in Ards Shopping Centre".

"We have no doubt that others will follow our lead," he said.