Drop in Shop Vacancies Across Northern Ireland Welcomed By NIIRTA

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has welcomed leading property company Lisney’s retail survey that has shown a significant drop in shop vacancies.

dn_screenPrime retailing locations throughout the province recorded their first fall in vacancy rates since 2011, down 2.5% from 17.1% in 2014 to 14.6% in 2015. This follows a detailed study of 17 towns and cities across Northern Ireland.

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said: “This a very welcome reduction in our shop vacancies which shows significant progress after a long period of increases in dereliction.

“While this is good news we still have along way to go in addressing this problem. Northern Ireland still has the highest shop vacancy rate in the UK and requires a comprehensive and coordinated approach from our eleven local councils and NI Executive.

“NIIRTA has outlined to Ministers the need to establish a Northern Ireland Town Team to bring together relevant Government departments, Councils and key retail and hospitality organisations to ensure coordination of policy.

“With the reorganisation to nine NI Executive Departments and eleven councils, we have an opportunity for a more effective joined up approach to town centre Regeneration.”