As lockdown eases, Lisburn city centre is back in business with 11 new businesses opening and seven being radically revamped, resulting in the preservation of 16 roles and creation of 28 new jobs to date.
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (LCCC) has been working with local entrepreneurs to get their new and existing business ideas off the ground.
With a total investment of £340,000, the council’s Urban Investment Fund – delivered in partnership with the Department for Communities – has benefitted 18 local businesses in a bid to attract new visitors, boost the local economy and get Lisburn City centre buzzing again.
One of the first new businesses to open is The Running Bubble – a stylish sports footwear outlet located in Lisburn Square. Also new to Lisburn Square is the Geek Retreat, while Blush beauty salon has opened in Market Place.
Michael Stewart and Gillian Burns own The Running Bubble and are excited about their new venture in Lisburn city centre. Michael said: “We both have a love for running and a passion for the sport. Given the times we are in, we thought that this is the ideal time to take our love of running to the next level and create a running outlet that is very much a part of the local running community.
“The Running Bubble is a major investment for us. We are delighted that we could avail of funding through the council to help us achieve our goals. The support from the council has been essential in helping us bring our project to life.”
A Thai takeaway called Ruean Thai Square has launched in Market Street and RT Computing has opened its doors on Graham Gardens. Greens Food Fare has undergone a huge transformation on Bow Street and The Nest on Railway Street is planning the opening of its fabulous new food and drinks space above The Cardan Bar and Grill.
Allan Greenfield of Ruean Thai Square said: “I’ve been thinking about opening a business in Lisburn for a long time and provision of this grant has made the opportunity become a reality.”
As of Friday 30th of April, all retail outlets in the city were safely opened for business, with hospitality also opening outdoors. The marquee is up in Market Square providing a socially distanced alfresco seating area and picket fencing is in place outside shops to provide a safe shopping experience for everyone to enjoy.
Alderman Jim Dillon MBE, Chairman of LCCC’s Development Committee, said: “It’s an exciting time for Lisburn city centre. It is thriving and has more to offer than ever. We need to return to a vibrant economy and I’m delighted that the council has helped local entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life.
“These 18 new and improved businesses will drive more footfall to the city centre, create jobs, attract further investment and provide a much-needed boost to the local area. I encourage shoppers to enjoy the city centre safely by following public health guidance.”
Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive of Retail NI, said: “As our local high streets begin the long road to recovery, it is fantastic to see new businesses open up and the expansion of existing traders in Lisburn city centre. This is clear evidence of the huge potential this city centre has and hopefully the first of many more independent retailers making Lisburn the place they locate and start their business.”
Here is a list of 7 of the 11 local business success stories:
- The Cardan – preserved 10 jobs, created 4 new jobs
- Green of Lisburn – preserved 6 jobs
- Geek Retreat – created 7 new jobs
- Running Bubble – created 2 new jobs
- RT Computing – created 4 new jobs
- Blush – created 6 new jobs
- Thai Square – created 5 new jobs
Further job opportunities are to be confirmed with the remaining 4 businesses.