21st Jun 2019 in Business

With ‘crisis’ in the retail sector, and the ever changing models for towns and cities it’s important we look to best practice and the lessons learned so we can build our city’s USP.

We are in the lucky position in Belfast to be in the infancy of our re-growth from a once empty space. We have a the full complement of offices, jobs, and hospitality – but are these the things that really make our city tick?

Providing a health check is a good gauge of what’s working, what’s not, and where we can improve. Understanding needs of citizens, employers and those wanting to invest is also crucial. It needs to be more than ‘Do we have a doctors surgery and is there bank?’.

BIDs in Belfast are exploring night time use, also known as the Night Time Economy. This will involve a 5pm-5am ‘health check’ in which we hope to evidence the need for change and spot the gaps and opportunities that have been created by these growth areas. People need the choice for a post 5pm, non-drinking offering, so access to medical provision, leisure, and retail needs to flex to accommodate this.

The awkward conversations still need to take place surrounding managing our public space, those vulnerable people on our streets, safety, and security.

In exploring some of the specific needs in CQ we need to focus on safety and security, investment in our public space and preparing the area for the anticipated influx of new students, residents, and employers. We must ensure that heritage and character remain at the heart of so much of the aforementioned development – getting the mix is vital.

Our unique selling point as a cultural and creative heart needs a sustainable investment model that appreciates the massive contribution the arts and cultural sector makes to the vibrancy of our city centre. Above all else, our people and the story of where we have come from (and even better – what we are becoming) can help create a re-imagined city.

What’s our scorecard ?


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