Taskforce hopes to lift Derry’s night time economy

Taskforce hopes to lift Derry’s night time economy

A new evening sector task force for Derry hopes to boost hospitality and unlock the area’s full nigh time potential.

The taskforce, set up by Derry City and Strabane District Council, will look at what lessons can be learned  from other towns and cities, safety, availability of transport and the provision of no-cost activities.

Foyleside SDLP Councillor Lilian Seenoi-Barr said: “Vibrant night time economies do not happen by accident. Innovation, creation, planning and partnership are all key elements to creating a destination that can delight users after dark.

“Derry has so much to offer both locals and visitors including the finest walled city in Western Europe but the fact remains that come 6pm much of the city centre goes into a deep sleep, especially between Sunday and Wednesday.”

UUP Alderman Ryan McCready, added: “We need to generate confidence within the local small businesses, retailers, coffee shops, all the things these business people and young entrepreneurs. It’s about giving them that confidence and certainty as a local authority to be brave and challenge how things are done in the evening.”

The DUP’s Hilary McClintock said: “Our night time economy has traditionally revolved around the consumption of alcohol but I know valiant efforts have been made pre-Covid to ensure we have cafés and coffee shops opening on a rota basis at night.

“We are living in very challenging times, both financially and presently during the pandemic. Our tourists need a night time offering but any growth in the night time economy has to be things embraced by local people as well to make them sustainable.”

Alliance councillor Rachael Ferguson added: “We had an amazing rota with some cafés and shops opening up in the evening pre-Covid and we could explore that again.”