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Two new outlets open as Kennedy Centre enjoys growth

TWO new businesses have opened in a west Belfast shopping centre, creating 15 new jobs.

Value retailer Peacocks has taken over 10,000 sq ft of retail space while one of Northern Ireland's largest restaurant and takeaway chains, Herrons Country Fried Chicken, has opened its 16th Northern Ireland franchise in the Kennedy Centre.

Peacocks went into administration last year but a large number of its stores were saved following its sale to Edinburgh Woollen Mill. John Jones, centre manager for The Kennedy Centre, said he was pleased with the new stores and the job opportunities they had brought for people of west Belfast, an area of high unemployment.

Mr Jones said: "We are proud and encouraged by the expansion of the centre, which is now 99% let.

"The Kennedy Centre has strived to be creative and has adapted to the changing times in order to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers.

"We are up 10% for our first quarter, which is very encouraging, as according to statistics last week, the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium highlighted that the average footfall in the province declined by 0.7%."

The Kennedy Centre now employs over 850 people and attracts an average of around 100,000 visitors per week.

Belfast Telegraph