Traders urged to join forum

NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts
NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts

Initial attempts to form a new Lurgan Chamber of Commerce have met with a ‘good turnout’ at a meeting last week.

With top lobbyists from Belfast and Derry at the meeting in Lurgan Town Hall, around 40 people attended the first attempt in several years to set up a traders’ forum.

Organised by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council, a spokesperson said: “There was a good turnout by Lurgan traders and businesses with agreement to get an interim working group which will lead to the formation of a representative body for Lurgan.

“Glyn Roberts CEO Retail NI and Jim Roddy CEO of the Derry~Londenderry Partnership, speakers at the event have offered to help and provide guidance and assistance as the process evolves.”

Previous committees of Lurgan Chamber of Commerce have faded away with the town languishing without a traders’ group for several years.

LurganSinn Fein Cllr Liam Mackle said: “The meeting was well attended and guest speakers Glynn Roberts and Jim Roddy impressed on those present on the necessity of having a Chamber if Lurgan was to grow again as a town centre with thriving businesses.

“The chamber would lead on developing new ideas, work with council with its new powers to attract new investment.

“The chamber would work with the wider community to develop Lurgan. This is a very welcome development.

“I was involved previously with Lurgan Forward and something like a chamber of commerce is badly needed.

“Council has been working with Kevin Houston who has vast experience in a wide range of areas and he presided over the event. The next step will be a steering group to move things forward.”