High street taskforce to hit Cookstown streets

A HIGHSTREET taskforce headed by Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland is set to hit the streets of Cookstown this month.

The move is part of DSD plans to improve the local highstreet, and will involve meeting local traders across a selction of cities and ton’s in the province.

Announcing the news Mr McCausland said: “I have asked the taskforce to meet with retail traders and business people across Northern Ireland to hear their views on how to improve the performance of our local high streets, town and city centres before it reports to me next month.

“I announced in February 2012 that I had established this taskforce in response to Mary Portas’s report on how to halt the decline of Britain’s high streets. The taskforce will review the support which my Department already provides to regenerate town centres to see whether this might be further strengthened in light of the recommended actions identified by Mary Portas, and also reflect Northern Ireland’s trading circumstances.”

The Minister also said that he and the taskforce have met with stakeholder business representative groups to hear their views. The taskforce is now working with the Association of Town Centre Management, Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association and district councils in arranging the ‘High Street Meetings’ during May 2012.

The first meeting will be held in Bangor Town Hall on Monday 14 May with further meetings to follow in Antrim , Armagh, Ballymena, Banbridge, Belfast , Carrickfergus , Coleraine, Cookstown, Downpatrick; Enniskillen Larne, Londonderry, Limavady, Lisburn, Lurgan, Portadown, Newry, Omagh and Strabane. Dates and venues for these meetings will be announced during the course of the month.