Commenting on last night’s Belfast City Council Planning Committee’s approval of the Tribeca application, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Retail NI is ambitious for Belfast and we believe that with the right support from Government, a bold new strategy and the correct partnership model, Belfast could be in the Top Ten retail destinations in the UK and Ireland”

Land & Property Services (LPS) has today released draft valuations of all 74,000 businesses in Northern Ireland.

Known as Reval2020 – this process will result in a new non-domestic Valuation List being used to calculate business rate bills from April 2020. This process is about restoring fairness in the rating system by redistributing basically the same rating burden using more up-to-date values. A revaluation is not about collecting more money from businesses, but it is about ensuring that everyone pays their fair share.

In its New Year message, Retail NI has called for a new rebooted NI Assembly and Executive to hit the ground running with a radical plan to address the huge challenges facing the local economy.

Retail NI has also urged the UK Government to listen to the concerns of the Northern Ireland business community have with the Withdrawal Deal.

Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts said:

Today, over 75,000 business properties in Northern Ireland will be finding out their updated rates valuations. Land and Property Services will publish today at 11am, a draft schedule of values online where business owners will be able to check their valuation and compare it with similar property types.

Retail NI and leading property consultant Osborne King will be jointly hosting an information seminar on the reval 2020 for independent retailers on 20th January.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

Responding to today’s Queen’s Speech Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:   

“It is to be welcomed that the Government has announced that they are increasing business rates discount from one-third to 50% for independent retailers in England”

“This should be immediately extended to Northern Ireland. Why should independent retailers in England get a 50% rates discount and their Northern Ireland counterparts receive nothing?”

Retail NI has urged Antrim and Newtownabbey Planning Committee to refuse planning permission for a major 70,000sqft out of town ASDA Superstore and Petrol Filling Station on existing industrial land in Monkstown Industrial Estate when they meet to consider it in the New Year, given the impact it will have on local traders and existing retail jobs in the area.

As the talks to restore Devolution begin, Retail NI has urged the Governments and political parties to show leadership and secure a deal.

Glyn Roberts, Retail NI Chief Executive said:

“The political parties need to strike a deal and get back to work - that was the clear message of the voters in last week's election. No more excuses”

“Northern Ireland's political leaders need to lead the way with big bold solutions and to take the difficult decisions. Real leaders do not see problems; they seek solutions”

Retail NI, Newry Chamber of Commerce and Newry Business Improvement District have welcomed this morning’s vote at Newry, Mourne and Down Council Planning Committee to reject the proposed out of town retail application in Carnbane.

Matrix Planning Consultancy, Retail NI and Newry BID presented to the Committee this morning outlining their objection to the application. The Committee voted 4-2, with one abstention, in favour of accepting the Council Planners’ recommendation to reject the application.

Commenting on the 12% increase in shoplifting in Belfast, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Sadly this increase of 12% in shoplifting comes as no surprise to many of our members in Belfast and throughout Northern Ireland”

“Shoplifting is not a victimless crime - it has a direct impact on our members’ profit margins”

“This is becoming a huge and unacceptable financial burden for independent retailers in every town and city in Northern Ireland who are already paying the highest business rates in the UK”

Newry BID, Newry Chamber of Commerce and Retail NI will again urge Newry, Mourne and Down Council to reject the proposed out of town retail application in Carnbane. The Council will once again consider the planning application which is recommended for refusal by Planning Officers on 11th December.