| 6.1°C Belfast

Specsavers sets sights on new outlet

Nine jobs have been created in west Belfast with the opening of a £290,000 optician outlet.

It is the 700th Specsavers store to open in the UK and Ireland and brings the total number of outlets under the brand in Northern Ireland to 16.

Sinn Fein mayor of Belfast Niall O Donnghaile unveiled the 2,552 sq ft premises on Monday. It will employ a team of 13, including nine newly-created roles.

He welcomed the jobs boost for the area, saying it came amid "challenging times for the retail sector".

David Maguire, the store's retail director, said: "When the opportunity arose to open in the Park Centre, the location was perfect. This opening now means, regardless of what part of Belfast you live, there is a Specsavers store on your doorstep."

Sinead Donnelly, one of the store's two optometrists, said: "It's very exciting to be at the forefront of such an important milestone in Specsavers' expansion in the UK and Ireland, having been with the company for 14 years myself.

"We are in a strong position opening the Park Centre with more 30 years' experience between myself and David. We believe in our team and we are committed to integrating into the local community and providing the best possible service."

One of the creators of the Specsavers brand, Dame Mary Perkins said: "This is an incredibly proud day for Specsavers. To have opened almost 1,500 stores from our humble beginnings is more than we ever dreamed possible.

"I wish David, Sinead and their team the utmost success."