Investment in transport infrastructure for towns like Portadown is one of the policies which today’s newly elected MPs must take on board.
The call comes from Glyn Roberts of Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) who was speaking on a visit to Portadown’s Chamber of Commerce.
The association has drawn up a 30-point ‘shopping list’ for Northern Ireland’s MPs and the new Parliament.
Retail First sets out wider policy priorities which, for the most part, are not devolved and fall within the current remit of Westminster, working in partnership with the NI Executive.
Mr Roberts said, “As the largest industry in Northern Ireland, a growing, vibrant and entrepreneurial retail sector is essential for a sustainable economic recovery.”
The plan recommends a major investment conference, to be held within the first year of the new UK Government and addressed by the Prime Minister and Chancellor, which would identify potential funding streams and produce an action plan to “support the rural infrastructure of our towns and villages”.
As the largest industry in Northern Ireland, a growing, vibrant and entrepreneurial retail sector is essential for a sustainable economic recoveryGlyn Roberts
President of Portadown Chamber Adrian Farrell said, “Whoever is MP on May 8 their top priority is growing our economy, and investing in skills and infrastructure.”
Mr Roberts added, “We need the right incentives and the right environment for our businesses and enterprises to thrive locally, nationally and across the world.
“ That means we need appropriately trained staff – a workforce that can adapt and develop to the changing needs of consumers and trade. We need the next generation of retail entrepreneurs to bring ideas to the table to keep us at the forefront of innovation.”