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Retail NI to host Future High Streets Summit

Tánaiste, and incoming Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD will be among the speakers at the Retail NI Future High Streets Summit taking place at Titanic Belfast on 30 March 2022.

Launching today, the in-person conference will promote a new vision for our high streets post-pandemic, and will discuss how Stormont, Westminster and Dublin Ministers can deliver real change for local towns and cities. Shadow Minister for Levelling Up, Alex Norris MP, will also speak on the implementation of the Government’s recent White Paper and how Levelling Up can be delivered on a local level in Northern Ireland.

Sponsored by DWF Law, the Summit will be hosted by broadcaster Tara Mills and will feature panel discussions with Executive Ministers on the Assembly’s future economic priorities ahead of May’s election. The conference will consider key strategic documents including the upcoming High Street Taskforce Report which will set out the transformation required to revitalise our local high streets.

The flagship event will conclude with a keynote address from Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, on the challenges facing the North-South economy. Mr Varadkar will take up the role of Taoiseach from December 2022.

Chief Executive of Retail NI, Glyn Roberts said:

“I am pleased that Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD, Shadow Minister for Levelling Up Alex Norris MP, and several Executive Ministers, will join us for our first major in-person conference in over two years. The pandemic decimated our high streets, and while we are beginning to see normality returning, a fresh, innovative approach to town and city centre planning is direly needed. Whether it is through Levelling Up, North-South collaboration, or on an Executive level through the High Streets Taskforce, it is imperative that government proposals across these islands are ambitious and help spark a renaissance of our local high streets.”

Head of Real Estate in Northern Ireland at DWF Law, Julie Galbraith said:

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Retail NI for its Future High Streets Summit. Our town and city centres are thriving hubs of innovation and growth, best evidenced through Northern Ireland’s ever-growing independent retail sector. Supporting our high streets does not just boost jobs and economic activity, it helps build stronger communities that work together to improve livelihoods and build prospects. I look forward to speaking to those business and political leaders in attendance at this excellent Summit.”