Have your say on the future of our high streets at Adair Arms event

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

LOCAL people are being encouraged to have their say on the future of our high streets by participating in the High Street Task Force call for evidence workshops.

The Task Force, which is co-chaired by the Junior Ministers Gary Middleton and Declan Kearney, has the long-term vision of rejuvenating our high streets and creating thriving, sustainable city, town and village centres.

As part of an ongoing public engagement process to inform its work, the Task Force has issued a call for evidence and wants to hear the views and experiences of all stakeholders, including business and community representatives.

A series of engagement workshops have been arranged in various locations, with the next workshop scheduled to take place at the Adair Arms, Ballymena on Wednesday, 1 December 2021, 6.00pm – 8.00pm.

Junior Minister Middleton said: “The High Street Task Force has a longer-term focus on addressing the many challenges facing our high streets and transforming them in response to fundamental societal and economic changes. However, this will only be possible with buy-in from a broad range of stakeholders.

“The call for evidence and engagement workshops provide important opportunities for everyone to have their say. I urge business owners, community representatives and anyone else who has an interest in the future of our city, town and village centres to attend one of the workshops and to make their views known.

“It is vital that we hear from as broad a spectrum of stakeholders as possible. Everyone who shares their views about the challenges facing their local high street and potential opportunities for transformation will be helping to inform the work of the Task Force going forward.”

Junior Minister Kearney said: “Our High Streets are for everyone. They are important to families, communities, businesses and workers. And, whether in villages, towns or cities, the goal of the High Street Task Force is to make each one a vibrant place to shop, do business, socialise and live.

“Every high street is unique. Each has different needs, requiring bespoke solutions and their future will be best shaped by the local community. That’s why it’s so important that we hear a broad and diverse range of views from citizens, community groups, organisations, businesses and more.

“Every voice matters in this Call for Evidence and I encourage as many people as possible to share your views, be part of the conversation that will help our high streets to thrive for the benefit of all.”

To register your interest in attending any of the workshops, please email the High Street Task Force at: highstreet@communities-ni.gov.uk

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