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Regeneration group in bid for second Belfast term


Kathleen McBride

Kathleen McBride

Kathleen McBride

A Belfast not-for-profit body has launched a business plan to help drive footfall to the city centre as well as making it a "cleaner, safer and greener" destination over the next five years.

Belfast One, the Business Improvement District (BID) for the city centre, has released its plans as part of the official electoral process to secure a second term.

Around 650 businesses will vote with the result being announced on Friday, March 26.

The BID invested almost £4m in projects during its first term after 84% of city centre businesses voted in favour of making Belfast a Business Improvement District back in 2015.

The BID, was set to promote, enhance and support city centre businesses, and the new plan outlines how it will support businesses - which spans retail, hospitality and professional services - for a second term from April 2021 to 2026.

Highlights of Belfast One's first term include events such as Belfast Restaurant Weeks to increase footfall as well as initiatives to make the city cleaner, safer and more accessible.

Its Clean Team has removed over 25 tonnes of litter and more than 1,800 pieces of graffiti. Belfast One has also been the main funder of two PSNI City Centre Beat officers who have delivered over 20,000 hours of additional policing in the Belfast One area.

Managing director of Belfast One, Kathleen McBride, said: "The last year has been an incredibly challenging one for our businesses but they have proven how adaptive, reactive and resilient they can be.

"We have continued to support them by creating an information hub highlighting updates on support available, as well as an increased specialised cleaning presence by our Clean Team, with a focus on shop fronts, disinfecting and power washing.

"We have also provided free online workshops as well as running a reopening campaign focusing on public safety and confidence in the city centre. Our most successful initiative, the Belfast City Centre gift card, will continue to support our businesses during the reopening and recovery after this lockdown."

Mrs McBride said that the focus of the next term would be on working in partnership with key organisations, including Belfast City Council, Belfast Chamber of Commerce and the PSNI, to continue to improve the city centre and make it a more welcoming place for visitors and businesses to invest, work and relax.

"Our plan is focussed on three clear elements; promote, enhance and support, for the city centre and its businesses," she said.

Belfast Telegraph