Summer Saturdays aims to bring more shoppers into town



The council-run Summer Saturdays programme will continue in Ballyclare town centre on July 5 with a ‘Mini Wimbledon’ event.

The local authority has lined up a series of free family-focussed activities and events on Saturday afternoons during July and August in a bid to increase footfall in the town for local businesses.

The initiative, funded by the CAN Peace III programme, started last week. But it seems not everyone was impressed with what was on offer.

One local trader, who didn’t want to be named, told the Times: “They had two items on in the car park at the town hall, and this is what they (the council) call a summer promotion to help local businesses. It was an absolute disgrace. To call it a summer business promotion is an insult to people’s intelligence.”

The man, who isn’t a member of the Chamber of Trade, also queried the wording on the promotional flyer, which says ‘Keep an eye out for summer promotions in local businesses.’

“I have asked around 14 other businesses in the town and not one of them has even heard about any promotions to do with this. No one knows anything about it,” he added.

However, the council has confirmed that it has been liaising with Ballyclare Chamber of Trade on the project, adding that upcoming promotions and offers will be publicised on the Chamber’s Facebook page.

Speaking at the recent launch of the Summer Saturdays programme, Alison Thompson, President of the Chamber of Trade, stressed that the town “offers great shopping” and urged more people to support local traders.

“It’s very important to support the local town and it would be great to see more families visiting our local shops over the summer,” she commented.

The Summer Saturdays programme runs until August 16, with a different themed ‘mini festival’ taking place each week (12pm - 2pm).

For full details log on to www.newtownabbey.gov.uk/events


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