What Future for Town and City Centres?

3 June 2008

BUSINESSES in Armagh, Dungannon and Monaghan joined forces last week when over 70 people attended an event in the Four Seasons Hotel, Monaghan to celebrate the success of the Cross Border Retail Development Programme and to consider the future of retail in town and city centres.

The 15 month Programmes which comes to an end this month is a unique collaborative initiative between Armagh City, Dungannon Town and Monaghan Town and was funded to the tune of £123,000 through the Interreg IIIA Programme managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the East Border Region Interreg IIIA Partnership.

The project aimed to rejuvenate and regenerate the retail centres of Armagh City, Monaghan Town and Dungannon Town and to facilitate the growth of retail support organisations including the Chambers of Commerce in Armagh and Monaghan and Dungannon Life on a Cross Border basis. In just 15 months the Programme has delivered a series of pilot actions to boost the retail sector including providing training for retailers, supporting key events in town and city centres, delivering a joint Christmas TV campaign, and the creation of a joint retail development strategy to consider a way forward for the partnership.

Project Officer, Sarah-Jane Stevenson said: “The evening was a great success and we were delighted Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association was able to bring us right up to date with the issues affecting town centres and retail in Northern Ireland. It was also a chance for our partners in Monaghan to share experiences. We have demonstrated what can be achieved when we work together and this highlights the need for continued cross border collaboration to tackle issues which affect retail both North and South. Although the Programme ends 30th June 2008 the partnership is committed to exploring sources of funding to continue the good work which has already been started.”

If you would like further information on the Cross Border Retail Development Programme please contact the Urban Regeneration Officer of Armagh City and District Council on +44 (0) 28 3752 9632.

  • Monaghan
  • LCC
  • MCC
  • Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
  • Ards and North Down Borough Council
  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council