The Minister for High Streets, Jake Berry pictured with Prof Nola Hewitt-Dundas of Queen's University Management School & Glyn Roberts of Retail NI

Retail NI has launched a 47 point plan to revamp Northern Ireland’s high streets at the Regeneration NI conference today at Queen’s University Belfast.

Among the keynote speakers at the conference were the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Local Growth and High Streets, Jake Berry MP; Andrew Carter, Chief Executive of the influential think tank, Centre for Cities; and Professor Greg Keefe, Head of the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University.

Glyn Roberts, Retail NI Chief Executive said:

Retail NI has, after careful consideration of the 500-page document and meetings with NIO and Cabinet Office officials in London, given its support to the draft deal.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This deal is by no means perfect but it is preferable to the economic disaster of a no deal. If this deal is not voted through the House of Commons then we face the chaos of the UK crashing out of the EU”

Belfast Chamber of Commerce, Retail NI and Hospitality Ulster have welcomed confirmation that Primark is to open a store in Commonwealth House on December 8th.

Belfast Chamber President Rajesh Rana, Retail NI CEO Glyn Roberts and Hospitality Ulster CEO Colin Neill said:

“This is a welcome development which will increase footfall for the Castle Street traders who have been suffering greatly reduced trade since the fire”

“It is also good news for Belfast City Centre as a whole that a Primark store will be open before Christmas”

Retail NI, Hospitality Ulster and Manufacturing NI have jointly called upon Northern Ireland's eleven Local Councils not to increase business rates. Their joint call comes as the Councils begin considering what level to set their business rates at for next year’s budget.

The three business organisations will be jointly writing out to the Mayors and Chairs of all eleven councils.

The Chief Executives of Retail NI, Hospitality Ulster and Manufacturing NI, Glyn Roberts, Colin Neill and Stephen Kelly said:

In this morning’s meeting in City Hall with the Secretary of State, Belfast City Council and business representatives, Retail NI raised the issue of English independent retailers getting a third off their rates bill in the Budget and their Northern Ireland counterparts getting nothing.

The meeting also covered Primark, City Deals and the lack of a Government at Stormont.

Speaking after the meeting, Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts said:

Responding to today’s Budget, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Retail NI broadly welcomes this Budget and we are pleased that our extensive engagement at Westminster with MPs and UK Government Ministers has successfully delivered results such as the £2m to deal with the Primark fire and the £650m Future High Streets Fund.”

“The £2m for dealing with the aftermath of the Primark fire is welcome, but more will be needed to deal with the long-term impact of this dreadful situation”

  • 21 bodies from NI business community call for regional flexibility around migrant labour policies
Glyn Roberts with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland at the Conservative Party Conference today

Speaking at the DUP Reception at the Conservative party conference, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts urged immediate action from theGovernment on the Primark fire.

Land & Property Services (LPS) has confirmed that the online questionnaire to collect rental data for the non-domestic rates revaluation – Reval2020 will close at midnight on Sunday 14 October.

LPS is now urging those businesses that have not yet responded to return their rental data via the portal by 14 October at the latest to ensure their future business rates are based on correct information.

Belfast Chamber of Commerce, Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI jointly met with the Head of Civil Service, NI Permanent Secretaries and Belfast City Council yesterday to discuss further Government action to support the City Centre after the Primark Fire.

In a joint statement, Rajesh Rana, President of Belfast Chamber, Glyn Roberts, CEO of Retail NI and Colin Neill, CEO of Hospitality Ulster said:

“We welcome the investment Primark, Belfast City Council and Department for Communities (DFC) have made in the City Recovery Fund and the work that BCC has done to date.