Five new businesses have opened on one street in Limavady town centre in the past month with each replacing a formerly vacant property.
Five new businesses are to open at Catherine Street in Limavady. The fact that the new businesses are replacing formerly vacant properties is good news for the town, the former mayor of Limavady Alan Robinson told the Sentinel.
A new Indian restaurant, a new nail bar, a furniture outlet, a new pound shop and now a pizzeria have all opened in Limavady town centre in recent times.
DUP councillor Alan Robinson said that it was good news for Limavady, but warned that the town is still short of the high-quality jobs needed for a long term recovery from the well-known economic problems.
He said: “I welcome the fact that there have been five new businesses in one street alone but I do recognise that these are not necessarily the high end jobs that we all want to see that would help sustain the Limavady economy.
“Of course they’re not high end jobs, those that will help to sustain our economy. But I’m not a job snob. I used to bag potatoes as a teenager. It was a job, it provided me with an income, gave me a structure to my life and it allowed me to contribute, in some small way to the local economy.
I wish each business and their employees well.
“Figures that I had looked at, although this was around a year ago, showed that the vacancy rates in Limavady town centre compared favourably to other similarly sized towns in Northern Ireland.
“These figures were a year old but they are an encouraging sign nonetheless. The vacancy rate in Limavady was ten per cent, below both the Northern Ireland average and the UK average.
“I can’t say exactly what the town centre vacancy rate is right now but I can say that they will have definitely gone down. That can only be good news.
“You have the new nail bar - that was vacant. You have the new Indian - that was vacant. You have Select Furnishings beside the iVape shop. You have the new poundshop - that was vacant. You also have the new Fire Stone Pizza shop - five new businesses in total.
“We hope the town rallies round them and gives them the support they need.”