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Traders’ group fighting for Derry’s future

A new traders’ organisation has been established to address the major challenges facing Londonderry and its city centre.

The City Centre Traders Forum will be fully supported by the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association.

Martin McCrossan, chair, said the group comprises small independent traders who “care passionately” about the city’s future.

“In recent weeks seven small traders have gone out of business and we need to see a new strategy to support and enhance our city centre. Issues like rates, car parking, planning and public realm work all need to be urgently addressed and our new Forum will be hitting the ground running in lobbying for action on behalf of our members,” he said.

“Our city may face a lot of challenges, but with growing tourism and the potential of the City of Culture bid we also have many opportunities. Very shortly we hope to visit Stormont and meet all six of the Foyle MLAs to put forward our concerns”

Glyn Roberts, NIIRTA chief executive, added: “We fully support the establishment of this new group and their policy agenda for the future development of Derry/Londonderry City Centre.

“A top priority for this new group is to protect and enhance existing retailers in the city centre and to work with all relevant agencies on a strategy to attract new retailers to the City Centre rather than unsustainable out of town locations.”