Londonderry: Retail NI warns road upgrade ‘risks’ jobs

image captionJob losses will occur unless there are changes to the proposed redevelopment to Buncrana Road, Retail NI have warned.

Planned road redevelopments on the Buncrana Road in Londonderry could put 300 jobs at risk, Retail NI have said.

The retail group has said local traders fear current upgrade plans to the road will “restrict passing trade to local businesses”.

Job losses will occur unless there are changes to the proposed redevelopment plan, it warned.

“If customers can’t gain easy access to our stores, then we will lose this trade,” local trader David Barber said.

Retail NI said they submitted a number of changes to the redevelopment plan, but all of which were “dismissed” by the Department for Infrastructure.

‘Every job is vital’

Speaking to BBC Radio Foyle, local trader David Barber, who is also a board member of Retail NI, said the potential losses could cost the local economy £2m.

“We urge the infrastructure minister to intervene and ensure changes are made to the redevelopment plan to avoid these job losses,” Mr Barber said.

image captionRetail NI chief executive Glyn Roberts said it supports the redevelopment but that no jobs should be lost because of it

Retail NI chief executive Glyn Roberts said after the “huge hit to the economy from Covid-19 every job is vital”.

Mr Roberts has urged Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to “listen to our concerns” and “protect these livelihoods and small businesses”.

  • Covid-19 ‘made NI recession 10 times worse’

  • NI economy ‘to shrink by 7.5% this year’

“Retail NI supports the overall plan to upgrade the Buncrana Road, as it is a vital investment in the infrastructure of Derry, the North West and the Derry-Strabane City Deal.

“However, no business should have to close, nor jobs lost as a result of this redevelopment.”

The Department for Infrastructure has been approached by BBC News NI for a statement.

Related Topics

  • Londonderry-Derry

  • NI economy

Source Article