Council To Discuss Plans To Extend Sunday Trading Hours

Belfast City Council is to discuss a proposal to change Sunday opening hours for shops which would see specific areas of the city designated as a 'holiday resort'.

The plans would see Sunday trading hours extended for large shops for up to 18 Sundays, other than Easter Sunday, between 01 March and 30 September each year.

The meeting is to take place on Friday, 21 October.

Alliance Councillor Kate Nicholl said it could be the first step towards making the city more accessible and welcoming for tourists.
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She said: "If we are serious about bringing more tourists and more revenue into Belfast and wider across Northern Ireland, we need to look at what makes us a viable destination. When we have a number of major shops which don't open on Sundays, that does not help make our case for a Belfast to work, visit and invest.

"It is understandable people need a day off but there is a balance to be struck in tourist-heavy areas in particular. Recently, I walked through Victoria Square one Sunday morning and came across a group of confused tourists who were keen to spend their money in our shops but were unable to. It is a scene that is repeated across the city every week.

"With the recent EU referendum result and subsequent fall of the pound, we need to be doing all we can to help our city and broader economy. Sunday opening of our shops would be a major step towards doing all that."


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