Retail NI has welcomed the decision of Belfast City Councils City Growth Committee to jointly commission a study with the Departments of Infrastructure and Communities on how to make the City Centre more accessible and welcoming.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“We welcome this proposal of a joint study on how to make the city centre more inclusive, accessible and become more family-friendly for shoppers and tourists”

The world has moved on since we last had a working government at Stormont. Brexit uncertainty, climate change and trade wars are huge challenges to the UK economy and will impact on Northern Ireland.


That is why a restored Assembly and Executive need to be rebooted and become less about process and more about delivery. It cannot be business as usual with a few tweaks here and there - we must see real change.


With the Tesco store re-opening today and a further reduction in the cordon Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

"We still have a long road ahead and Retail NI will continue to lobby for the establishment of a Rejuvenation Fund for that part of the city centre”

“Retail NI is very ambitious for Belfast and we believe that a 21st Century city centre can be created with a dynamic retail and hospitality offer. There is no reason, with the right investment and partnership that Belfast couldn’t be in the top ten of retail destinations in the UK"

The Department of Finance has today announced a review of the non-domestic rating system in Northern Ireland.

Launching the review, Sue Gray Permanent Secretary at the Department of Finance said: “In recent years significant changes have taken place in our high streets and town centres. It is critical from a business perspective, as well as a government funding perspective, that our rating system is capable of responding to this wider process of change. That’s why today I am announcing a full and comprehensive review of business rates.

Colin Neill CEO Hospitality Ulster, Julie Galbraith DWF Law Partner, Sue Gray, Department of Finance and Glyn Roberts, CEO Retail NI.

Retail NI and Hospitality Ulster have both welcomed the announcement by the Department of Finance that a comprehensive review of business rates is to be held. The Department of Finance Permanent Secretary Sue Gray made the announcement today at the Retail NI-DWF Local Government conference at Titanic. This Review had been a long-time objective of both Retail NI and Hospitality Ulster.

The Chief Executives of Retail NI and Hospitality Ulster Glyn Roberts and Colin Neill said:

Retail NI has welcomed the Which? study as a major wake up call to Government. The study shows that a transaction charge has been imposed on over 1700 ATM’ across the UK in the first three months of this year and that more is coming.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Retail NI is completely opposed to the imposition of these transaction charges. It is blatantly unfair to independent retailers and their customers”

Commenting on the ATM robbery on a Retail NI member on Tully Road, Antrim and the arrests early this morning Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:  

“This is welcome news that at long last we have arrests arising from these robberies. Credit is due to the PSNI officers who made the arrests”

“While we have made progress, yet another independent retailer has to deal with the aftermath of a seriously damaged store”

Retail NI, Hospitality Ulster and Manufacturing NI have welcomed the new political talks to restore the Assembly and other institutions. The three business groups also called for a fourth strand on the economy to include key civic society organisations.

In a joint statement the Chief Executives of the three organisations, Glyn Roberts, Colin Neill and Stephen Kelly said:

You asked and they have delivered, Mash Direct are excited to launch their ecommerce site bringing their award-winning vegetable side dishes direct to your door.

Reacting to the decision of the Competition and Markets Authority to block the proposed merger of Asda and Sainsbury’s, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This was the right decision by the CMA. From a competition, consumer and supplier perspective, this proposed merger would have been a bad deal”

“Many local suppliers to the grocery sector were extremely concerned that this merger would result in a significant reduction in trade”