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New music store hopes to hit all the right notes

Seven jobs will be created with a new music store on the fringes of Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.

Dawson's Music is one of the oldest musical instrument retailers in the UK and operates 11 retail stores across the UK. It also has an education department which supplies schools and colleges.

The new city centre store on Royal Avenue, formerly occupied by Marcus Music, will employ three full-time and four part-time staff when it opens at the end of this month.

Dawsons said its hopes to build on its existing business in Bangor, Co Down, by opening another store, which will stock instrument brands such as Gibson, Fender and Yamaha and the latest in music production and products.

William Thompson, a director of eduction at Dawsons, said the new shop will be "strategically placed" in the city's cultural hub and at the heart of many projects and festivals.

"There has been a bit of surprise that we are opening a new shop during difficult times, but our Bangor store is booming," he said.

"We are on the doorstep of the Cathedral Quarter and the University of Ulster, we are in an accessible area of the city with good parking and no bus lanes and we are located on the site of the old Marcus Music stores so all this bodes very well,

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"We're also opening ahead of Christmas when people are more likely to be making big ticket purchases.

"We supply all sorts of instruments and software for all budgets, from a £99 guitar to a £2,000 one. We are very much hoping to tap in to the cultural vibe of the Cathedral Quarter. There will be workshops, concerts and lunchtime events.

"This is an area of the city where there is a lot happening, a lot going on and we hope to become a big part of that."

He said members of bands such as Two Door Cinema Club, Kowalski and Rend Collective have all used the Bangor shop.

"By positioning ourselves in Belfast we hope to have an even bigger impact on the wider music scene here," said Mr Thompson.