THE town’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry has launched a brand new website.
The site, which was designed by BizTech’s Dermot French, went live on Tuesday (August 9).
Chamber Chairperson Charlie Gardiner, speaking at Monday night’s meeting, described the website’s launch as “wonderful news”.
“We hope the new website will be a very valuable tool for the whole community,” said Mr Gardiner.
“This is the end result of just some of the work we have been involved with.
“It’s a means to an end. We want to get positive things out in the media about Lurgan, and this is a good way to do it.”
He continued: “We have talked about this for a long time. We have seen how this has helped other towns.
“The Chamber learnt in March that we had been successful in getting Council funding, and I would like to thank them for their contribution.”
Mr French said: “The site is split up into different sections and is designed to be user friendly.
“Once they sign up with the Chamber, businesses and sporting organisations will be able log on and upload news and events.
“Restaurants will be able to go on and upload their menus and prices.
“We hope that eventually this will showcase everything that is happening in the town.”
The Chamber’s Stephen Greene thanked Mr French for his “enormous amount of effort”.
“It’s all about getting information out about Lurgan and showing people what it has to offer,” he said.
Mr Gardiner continued by outlining how strong the Chamber currently is compared to previous years.
He said: “I believe we are in a very strong position in that four of the six Upper Bann MLAs are from Lurgan.
“They are all very keen to help but they need our support. We also really need to push our councillors to deliver for Lurgan. We need their support to help drive things through.
“We had a very beneficial meeting with DRD Minister Danny Kennedy, and he is hoping to visit the town in the coming weeks.”
He added: “We have got a big mandate now. The Chamber’s membership is bigger now than it has ever been in my lifetime.”
Mr Gardiner raised the issue of rates in the town. He pointed out that some rents in the town are cheaper than the rates.
“There needs to be a revaluation of the whole town,” he said.
“Our aim is to drive the town forward in every department. Commerce by its very nature is inter linked with community, and we want to bring the town back to what it was.”
He also highlighted the fact that William Street and the north side of Edward Street are to be included in the second phase of the Public Realm Works.
He added that he wanted to see minimal disruption to the town during the works.
Mr Gardiner said he would also like to see an indoor market in the town, as well as a town centre concert in the run-up to Christmas.
He pointed out that businesses should take advantage of the fact that there will be almost 1,000 people from all over Europe staying in the town during the European Mounted Games.
He said: “A lot of what we are doing is based on the experiences of Ennis, County Clare.
“A few days before I visited the town, there was a cycling event on. There were scores of business adverts tied in with the cycling event. That was a classic example of sporting and commercial organisations coming together.”
He also spoke about the town’s need for taxi ranks.
He said: “Things were going great, but for some reason it has got bogged down in the Council’s development committee.”
You can visit the Chamber’s new website at www.lurganchamber.com.