Things are on the up for town centre according to chairman

The new trees and paving in Lurgan Town Centre. INLM2611-511gc
The new trees and paving in Lurgan Town Centre. INLM2611-511gc

The vacancy rate in Lurgan town centre is the lowest it’s been for the past five years, according to the town centre development company.

Lurgan Forward chairman Charlie Gardiner said the town had come on leaps and bounds since investing government and council money on giving the town a facelift.

Mr Gardiner said: “A lot of new businesses have moved into the town. The vacancy rate is at its lowest for five years. The latest survey by Lurgan Forward found the vacancy rate to be around 11%.

“That’s the lowest it’s been for five years. That includes the entire town centre - side streets, upstairs, downstairs.

“It’s encouraging to know that there’s only one vacant unit in North Street and one in Edward Street. William Street and Union Street also have a very small number of vacancies.

“At one stage the vacancy rate in Lurgan was 18%. To put this in perspective the vacancy rate in the likes of Portadown is 25%.”

He added: “Town centres are reflective of the people who shop there.

“The shoppers in Lurgan are very discerning and the town centre is becoming known as a town centre for niche shops.

“For the same reason Portadown is home to more and more charity shops which is reflective of what the Portadown consumer wants.”

He continued: “People say Lurgan is full of pound shops. They couldn’t be further from the truth.

“There are two pound shops in the town centre and they have a much right to be there as any other business.”

Mr Gardiner concluded: “There’s no hiding from the fact these are difficult economic times and there needs to be major revaluation of rates in the town.

“But certainly more people are willing to have a go at setting up their own business and that’s great news for the town.

“Money has been brought in through DSD, DRD and council and it has been invested wisely in projects to give the town a facelift.

“There’s plenty more to come. A market is planned for October and there’s new signage going up.”