GLENGORMLEY traders have demanded that the Minister for Social Development, Nelson McCausland, takes action to help stem the terminal decline of the village.
Chairman of Glengormley Traders’ Association incorporating the Glengormley Chamber of Commerce, Ed Burns, has said the outlook for the village is “bleak” unless immediate action is taken by govenment authorities to help save small businesses and encourage new investment.
Mr Burns has said Wednesday’s visit (August 24) from Minister McCausland will be a final call for help for the town.
“It will be ‘do something or we are finished’. There is no point talking about what can be done, the time has come for action,” said Mr Burns
“We need the work on Portland Avenue started now, we need parking bays for shoppers now, and we need the infrastructure to encourage new business, now. Glengormley is on its knees and the Minister has a duty of care to the old, the young and those who can’t drive to make Glengormley a place for them.
“The new Henderson development is a ready-made village with access to a huge car park, and with the new Tesco there will be a pincer movement on the village’s businesses.Footfall has dropped drastically in the town and businesses are suffering badly.
“It is very tough for small business. People are just working to pay bills, they are being strangled by the multi-nationals. Our group is constantly working hard with phone calls, emails and meetings but we need government help urgently for the future of the town.”
Minister Nelson McCausland was due to attend a meeting in the Thunderdome Cafe on Wednesday, August 24, to meet with traders.
Mr Burns continued: “Glengormley has suffered under-investment in its infrastructure for decades and we need work fast-tracked as soon as possible. Our group is part of the Masterplan Committee, which is an aspiriational plan for the village and how it will look in decades to come. We need improvements now, not in the next 20 years, or even next year - we need it today, it really is the last chance saloon for Glengormley.”
Mr Burns also encouraged the public to support Glengormley’s business community, declaring: “The community needs to support our small businesses - there will be no good saying it’s a shame when a shop closes.A closure has such a massive impact and there will be no point in saying it’s a shame to see it go. People need to come out and support us now.”